When I had the charity haunt, every year they would hand me some money and I would let them keep a certain amount of the props and masks. I saw it as being like a party rental business and you get to steal the centerpiece. Most of the expensive props I have never went into the haunt to get destroyed or grabbed.
So I have a coffin, a nice werewolf, a mannequin girlfriend, a saw blade collection, 100 stryrofoam wig heads, 2 dogs, a company that has become more like a job only with no regular pay check, a debt and somehow I became old and retarded. We are in a recession, The local McMansions all have for sale by owner signs on them and the concrete design business instead of doing fancy designs and luxury cover up of concrete does repaints and pressure washing, cleaning off dog poop so people can sell their house or a hotel just doing a paint job on their pool instead of really fixing it. It has gone through a full cycle. We began redoing everyone's old poorly done jobs and this is where it is at now.
Yet, these young guys have proved to me the haunt market still works no matter what. Even in a down economy and maybe especially in a down economy. People go to be entertained to forget the real problems in their life even if it is only for 20 minutes.
Being a business owner, in all the different forms I have been, You kind of for go all the fancy expenses anyhow and put everything into your business. When times are tough people are crying and you have already gone years and years not having all this stuff they are whining about. It doesn't matter if you are making $8,000 a week or $300 a week or $700 a week or making someone 10 million dollars a month, you generally live on about $20 to $30 a day and everything else goes into overhead or investment that either may prove to be something or is just expected behavior.
With my current business I can run around and weasel $1000 in materials and go to work and have maybe $2500 in a few weeks. With a haunt, that $30 you spent might not get paid back for 5 years when it is actually out there a few years and customers have leased it for 3 seconds. The scale of justifying savings, investment and when you are going to get paid and paying storage on something that may never happen to the level you want it to is a hard road.
I miss my hearse. I miss the haunted house but someone took the market I helped develop and went with it. Plus even though their income sounds impressive, it really isn't. They were young advertising guys, expected yearly income between $50,000 and $100,000. With their extremely successful haunt and the advertising company nearly down the tubes maybe because of having a pro haunt and the feeling there was something more fun to do with their lives, I'll bet they are down to about $25,000 per year or less. They have gone from working for someone, to being self employed to doing what gypsys do entertaining the drunken villagers just crazy enough to go to the outskirts of town or to the wrong side of the rail road tracks. How is that a real business? Certainly that is what some $18,000 per year bank loan officer has been trained to think.
It isn't a business actually. Although everyone ries to make it all "industry" sounding. It is a life style. Or at the full on million dollar levels it migh be a quick promotion that is only going to last a year or two and never pay everyone. The other night on Hulu I found an episode of Shark Tank. These two old dude magicians wanted 1.4 million dollars to build a 25,000 SF event right on Times Square, how much does it cost in overhead per year? 7.4 million. FAIL. Yet I'm sure they got those numbers somewhere. I'll bet they even paid a consultant with some kind of vetting $25,000 to put all that in writing. Who cares no one will ever do it, here is a book of numbers that will be $25,000, it isn't my ass on the line. Fail again and there might have been no warning that it wasn't the right thing to do. Sure it will be the first EVER, no one has done it before! It will be stupendis.
Another fabulous post from the U.S.Department of Wild Imaginings, now in spectaclar stereo, sponsored by the Adhesives and Sealants Council, suggesting ways to stick things together since the 1800s. Not fabulous in a gay way. Your results may vary. Illinois residents add 8% sales tax. These posts have been made by professional post makers, do not try this type of posting on your own without extensive training, lovely assistants and a trusty clown horn.