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Thread: Wall panel design ?'s

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  1. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    I just got back from town.

    1. The hearse wrap... IS LOOKIN AWESOME!!

    2. About 5 people we've talked to said an indoor R/C Track would rock and we'd be surprised. Of those 5, 3 have R/C's and people around them said they have race trucks but don't race because there's no place locally.

    3. Some of the same people said a minigolf /FEC (family entertainment center) would do ok, but would probably burn out.

    After realizing some things, I may have had TOO BIG of a picture in my head for the haunt for the first year. Sure, I know I can do it, but I think something year 'round to help with the bills would be more efficient at this time.

    Thanks for the ideas guys. I'll post some updates and pics of the hearse in my build progress thread.


  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Of course the general public has no idea how a mini golf can be themed out and be made a real adventure because each little set it crazy somehow. They only imagine the golf club, astro turf and bumps on the ground.

    In the old days, there were lame haunted houses that had no one really doing any acting or maybe one guy sent you on your way. It was a couple thousand square feet of nothing but painted walls. So. you go one step more and theme things out and it is open for a tour with no great activity for cheap. All year round. Maybe there are puzzles on the wall to solve, maze parts that have a list of scavenger things to retrieve. Interactive entertainment using the customers mind. Same impact enjoyment wise as a mini golf. It would only need to be 1000SF but the end goal is there is a bigger one coming in a few years, did you like that?

    Even mini golf can be improved. None of the little turfs unexpectedly move the little obsticles or anything weird like that. None of them have an unexpected toilet flush or farting noise when the ball goes into a hole or an air cannon gets you or horns go off. All just added over time to make it more and more freaky and spreading the word of mouth.

    Full on family entertainment center can get really expensive per square foot. I would want to not only pay the rent but kind of have the customers and freinds involved in what could be done, that's cool, who can do that? So it isn't just you and what you can buy at Transworld or IF you ever get any spare cash, it is the community came up with stuff you need to go see and there is so much it can't be described. That is the essents of advertsing only you didn't pay some fat guy with an automatic dialer to do it all, you recruited the opinion of customers.

    And it may infact change. For a year it is radio controlled cars, then for a year it is mini golf, then for a year it is the largest ever in the world model cho cho system and landscaping, then for a year it is bounce houses then for a year it is garage bands doing their thing. Your wallet stays the same. Everything is going to fade out in popularity. Possibly even a haunted house if it isn't somehow inspired and creative. Just the facts ma'm.

    So you spend more time worrying about YOU. Your attitude, ability to provide customer service and make people happy.

    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.

  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    Perhaps none of these crazy idea alone can support an entire year of what a rent income might be. So you turn each into a month of the year extravegnaza event. The global world minigolf olympics and mega show! So maybe 800 people show up. The radio controlled guys number maybe 8 people that only have time on weekends but build toward some big race that everyone needs to come see to raise money for charity.

    Churches are pretty much paying their big airconditioning and maintenance bill by having once a month bands show up and trying to recruit all the heathen children to come to church and make donations.

    Family entertainment centers get expensive and are generally several families or a real estate investment group and unfortunately what I see as number of customers isn't really that profitable when there are so many involved. They build to sell to a larger amusement company or continue on with the ultimate goal being selling the property for its best value in a few decades. Of course some workers and managers got a pay check.

    Bicycle shops recommend 4,000 SF of stuff for retail sales. However everyone working at a bicycle shop is either the kid of a doctor that already has money and they are just trying to keep the kid off the streets and in school, or they have their own business and four different businesses share the one working space. Or it is a group of people that all have some other form of incomes like military pensions, social security or rich wives that think having a business in addition to be a nurse is really keen.

    There is no one deal that becomes the big mega idea, perhaps one in a thousand gets through competition for time, doing the same thing better and having unlimited funding or will to out last anyone else doing the same business. That is just reality. So many businesses are just plain hyped up and the next wonderful industry that you should invest all of your families fortunes into, just to be soaked up by time and atrophy. But, all those people still subscribed to the magazine that told them something was happening one place on the globe and it could maybe happen for you. Generally it does not happen for you. What is seen in San Fransisco or New York or Tokyo as some cool culture does not necessarilly translate to how life is in some place in Arkansas. But it could or maybe it never will.

    Unfortunately the only way to test a market is to blindly do stuff and see what sticks. You cant just go with old dudes saying that will never work here when they aren't exactly active in what the young people WANT to spend their money on.

    My original idea was to use the shop as a factory to build haunted scenic panels. So I did. Then I found a charity that was still using black plastic and told them that was bad. We ran it for 5 years with ups and downs and I wan't happy with other haunts in town seeing large numbers of people because quite simply they kind of told people somehow they had set up a haunted house and my charity really didn't tell may people. I sold all of these walls and scenic elements over time and went back to making things for specific haunts I know.

    One haunt the rooms off season get converted into sculpting rooms, painting rooms, casting rooms, and tool rooms to make products that end up at some of the conventions. Then they get coverted back to haunted house. Plus there is kind of a secret society where maybe a dozen people with shops are out in the wilderness making things, inventing things that might be a product but certainly get used on one haunt or trail.

    Over the years I have done everything. I would provide a set up crew, build fascades and travel all over to do that in between working my regular decorative concrete flooring and pool texture business. Back in the day there were panels that looked like bricks that were shot on patterns that were popular before vacu forming. The stuff could be shot on to make caves. And so we did.

    Even haunted houses seem to go through an evolution. Charities change who is going to be incharge and who holds the money in the safe from year to year. Younger guys close down because they could have bought a Ferrari and gone to Las Vegas for all the money they spent and worked hard for. Maybe not wise but they are living their life. Something to talk about in the nursing home on what I did that was stupid but fun night. One trail has gone on 13 years and done well but doesn't match the money that can be made by selling the property for 7 million dollars and buying a computer server farm in California. So all the trail stuff will be a project to sell off.

    You have to adapt to what your specific area does spend money on and convert that into what people will travel from great distances to come see and do one specific time of the year. Or stragling along all times of the year. Every business has a season. Auto parts stores make money only in June and July despite 3/4 million in inventory sitting there and 17 people willing to help you all year long. Because everyone drives around for vacations and takes care of their car before or after they wore it out vacationing. Gas prices are supposedly going down for this event just a tad says the national media.

    It seems commercial construction starts happen in August, the hottest stupidest time of the year in the south but, it is a cycle of the banks are only letting financing go seasonally, the end goal is for what ever it is to be open and renting in the real estate season that occurs in March April and May. Three months and you are done. Spend the rest of the year answering the phone wondering if any of the calls might lead to something.

    Some construction has new stuff like pools being built through the winter and the final push put to finish it in spring. The minor repairs and up grades through the summer as people try to make it look nice for parties or non slippy and then in the fall there are remodels to do as the parties didn't bring any money in and they want to sell their property. Maybe with a better property in a better place their better freinds will actually help them out somehow?

    Factory level construction and power plant retrofits has a much longer cycle of about 30 years. Internet and electronics are in constant venture capital bubbles and who lost money this time when it all falls apart in maybe 10 year cycles. There are people otherwise unemployable with no special skills doing day trades from home making $200 a day because they sat and watched all the little graphs of these cycles and then at some point the whole market just cleans off the table and takes their $100,000 because they were essentially gamblers not in control of any of the rules or markets.

    Bottom line, you can't win. You can pick out the life style you want and pretty much it all begins with the purchase of something. A computer, an air brush, the craftsman on sale now for $139 tool set, or maybe it is a $1.59 notebook and some pens stolen from banks to write your big idea book.

    As time goes on, I'm inclined to now understand that all the people that have ever suggested not to get into haunting unless you have $150,000 to spend were actually caught up in the moment of being somebody. They listened to wht others have done, how they started out, talked to consultants and are going for it and you should too. But, all the haunts that have been around for 20 years of more started out with very little in thier pocket, no real assets, very little money from family available. They made walls with only the outer frame because they only had so many 2x4s and not having one in the center makes the walls kind of springy anyhow. If you are stupid enough to bounce off the walls you deserve how ever far my trampoline wall design throws your stupid ass.

    If you look at all the great economic pundits charts and when all the recessions were, mind you this is throwing all kinds of business cycles into one grand pile of unuseable information, you see when way too many people were unemployed and no big money was starting anything, that is when, exactly when the now decades old haunts were created. Usually from the refuse materials that industry thought should be thrown away, not by getting credit at Home Depot. In many cases they took old wall panels from someone getting out of the business for about a third the costs of new added lots more from a pile of wood in a barn or warehouse that was in the way for 10 years. This became why the walls were made a certain way or made out of a certain material.

    I have talked to people that have built as many as 25 haunts over the last 30 years some years. Each goes through a couple year cycle and takes investors money and sometimes doesn't bring it back. The haunts get sold along with the story that there are a few haunts that make 1.2 million dollars and you can buy this pile of crap for as little as $2500.

    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.

  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Tyler, Texas, United States
    I really like the way Jim Warfield thinks and suggests. Honest hard work and creativity makes money. You can find a field and a used shovel, dig what looks like a grave by hand and tell a story. You don't hire an advertising firm, write a business plan or fund a marketing study, you invite people one by one, group by goup to come to the field and hear the story. All of those high fallutin things are for suckers who are going to do nothing more than spend money and somehow be proud of their stupid money spending, maybe give a seminar about it one day. The money comes from customers ad their enjoying your antics one way or another. Supporting what you are doing. Possibly for the simple fact that you are possibly one of those characters in the world not playing the 9 to 5 game.

    Lots of haunts get rebuilt over and over because there was no semi trailer to store them in, they ended up out in the weather all year long and rot away in a few years. Were they igorant or simply didn't have money to pay for proper storage because they owed everyone money. Some leave a location every couple years and have "sold" the haunt to the landlord they just left. On a regular basis it becomes the way they do their own cycle of business that fits the real world market.

    It isn't necessarily any greener grass in the big city or the rural location or the north or the south, the east or the west, it is developing a clientel, massaging a mass of people to the tune of 10,000 or 25,000 over a great many years and then having the event that will actually be the pay off. Then lather rinse and repeat.

    So you say Greg, you are just old and cranky, not part of the industry food chain and why should we listen to your stupid ass diatribes? Very simple. I have traveled around and helped everyone out for totally free for so many years and everyone tells me the real expenses and the real incomes and have become real freinds. I have never had something to sell or some item that needed to be closed on and people have come to me and asked to buy this or that or make a deal for services. Totally by referal and with out any advertsing. No book or CD to sell, now consulting services to think about spending.

    All of these things that occur in the haunted house business are happening in any kind of business if you get past the fascade, into the inner workings and really follow the money. Everything is work. Accumulation of knowledge, proving to yourself that this or that worked and was a fit to you personally by actually doing.

    Another key might be, having that one ultimate location and hoping to get enough people to come or being willing and able to go get the customers or do things where there is money and cash flow for a certain amount of time. Everyone focuses on walls and buildings for rent. The reality is more like focusing on having circus trucks. Of course everyone wishes these permanent post all the luck in the world and says nothing more than that. It can be done but it takes time.

    The money comes from the customers, not a bank, not the government, not your family, not investors. Spending money you don't have means it is someone else's money, not yours. You want to only invest your money in something that ultimately might be some small business. Then you can earn a living as opposed to running around to make payments from one account to the other as some kind of job. Every one of those options is by definition predatory lending. It doesn't result in you getting your dream situation unless it includes taking all the money and escaping to Venusuala and paying the dowry on a good looking babe and a hasienda. So how many languages do you speak?

    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.

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