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Thread: Halloween 2013 season wrap up

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  1. Default Halloween 2013 season wrap up 
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Well, how did everybody do this year ??? Was business off or just great !!!!!! Please post !!! Hope everybody had a great money making and fun, safe season !!!!!!!! Hopefully, the cardnials did not ruin the season for uncle larry !!!

  2. Default Halloween 2013 season wrap up 
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Frederick, Maryland
    Success! We had a great first year! Gravensteen is here to stay.
    Now that the season is over, I will finish up my second book (the first one will be released soon) and begin storyboards on the next years haunt. Since there will be more time to develop, our next season will have a lot of original works. I will post ideas here soon. But for now, it's time off.

    ~The Imagineer~

    Andrew de Ruiter

    Download part 1 of Andrew's Black Book of ideas for haunts here:

  3. Default 2013 season 
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Brookings SD
    Our 4th season was a success!! Numbers way up from last year. More importantly, sales per person jumped by about 30%. I attribute this to a few things.

    1. The addition of a second haunt. 3D and about 2500sqft.
    2. Aggresive social media marketing utilizing current lists/ guppypod photo marketing/ and text marketing.
    3. Large coupon and flyer campaign. Sounds very old school but, I skipped this last year and it cost me dearly.
    4. Decent weather. We had a few close calls with rain and snow but...pulled through.

    Bring on 2014.

    Fear Asylum Haunted House


  4. Default Numbers are up! 
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    We had a slow start but ended with a bang! The local radio station really made the difference. We made two appearances at the station which is located on a very busy street in town, and we were on the morning show (a two hour show) twice. A lot of people who heard us on the radio came to the haunt. And despite what most think about FB - we had a very large contingent that found us on FB and have been following us on FB and Twitter.

    The print media helped a little. The three area papers ran articles on us, which helped some as well. Nov 2 was crazy, with a lot of traffic. Definitely our biggest night!
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    One of the things you have to be careful of when you try to get some sort of end of the season report is the level the haunt is coming from with the report itself...

    Here is what I mean... a lot of haunts are growing meaning they did 8000 last year and this year they jump to 14,000 huge success but they had a budget for what they did the year prior so they are ecstatic. Then you have lets say a new or second year year who had no where to go but up, and then you had mid level haunts sitting around 15,000 for years and boom they jumped up to say 20k another success.

    But then you have haunts who have touched 40,000 plus, or 30,000 plus or even more... they have no where to go usually but SLIGHTLY UP or DOWN... I would love to know more from everyone but I always want to know the range you went from what to what and how long have you been at it.

    Here is an example our haunts have touched nearly 50k (Darkness) and it has 20 years of tracking up and down and flat... do we base our success from last year to this year or what we did in 1999 when we charged $13.00? Prices keep going up and sometimes you lose attendance but you still gain in revenue blah, blah.

    The St Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 playing 7 games and in total 20 out of a 21 possible games. That hurt. In 2012 the Cardinals played a 5 game first round of playoffs then had a 3-1 game lead over San Fran and lost three straight so Cards fans were on the edge of their seat three games straight.

    This year they make the World Series again play 5 game first round, 6 game second round then 6 more games in the World Series that goes up to Halloween almost. So needless to say yes our season wasn't great we are severely impacted by baseball ... St Louis has the best baseball fans in all of baseball. The city lives breaths and dies for Cardinal baseball! They also won the World Series in 2006 as well... so we've seen a lot of playoff baseball over the past several years. This has taken the steam right out of Halloween around here... so to be honest our attendance has dipped again!

    I came up with a list of things I can do different next year but I can't control if the Cardinals make the WS again... I'm assuming they are a front runner to repeat! So I have some unique things going on here... but to answer your question our attendance was down in 2013 from 2012.


  6. Default  
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Our numbers were up as well from 2012. We increased flyer, poster promos, Major area newspaper headline, weekend edition print (what to do in the area) Social Media sponsored posts, advertising spots in local business areas via huge posters

  7. Default Down a bit 
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Centreville, Virginia
    We were down about 15% attendance this year. We lost all 3 nights, all of Columbus day weekend. I think that hurt us a lot. It means we were not open for 12 nights in a row. Still sold out some later nights and we did fine, just not as well as we hoped. I got some good ideas to up early attendance next year!
    Lucas Cox
    Cox Farms

  8. Default  
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Wow I really like Larry's post....ok, so I'll follow up!

    We opened last year, and did 2,000 (a little more than but for the sale of argument..)
    THIS YEAR same location, but 6,500 so.....yeah, made me happy. Next year is a bigger marketing plan and expanding the haunts, we expect to hit 12,000.

  9. Default  
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Columbus, OH
    We had an interesting season; in August we moved our haunt into a new building 8 miles away, we had to delay our opening by a week, the local university (OSU) had 3 night games in October (with 8:00 pm starts), a new haunt moved into our area and we experienced heavy rains on several nights. Our attendance was up the weekends we didnít compete with college football, but overall we ended up flat compared to last year. Haunt reviewers rated us the highest weíve ever been and customers loved our new attraction; so I guess we had a pretty good season.

    Also we had more press/media coverage this year than ever before. We signed a four year lease on our new location so we can start promoting our haunt year round. Yay!!! Our crew is anxious to start working on it for the next season. Itíll be great to be able to spend an entire year working on the attractions and marketing.

    Kelly Collins
    The ScareAtorium Columbus

  10. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    St. Louis, MO

    You really proved my point there... congrats btw. When you first start off it can be tough really tough that is when we lose most haunted house owners in the first year.

    But you went from 2000 to 6500 and now you look to jump to 12k and let me tell you that very very possible... when you start with low numbers you have no where to go but up. You will at some point hit a ceiling and at that point its hard to go up anymore but easy to come down. I think you should set your budget next year like you are going to do 12k because you can get there easy... from there though you have to really evaluate your market, your haunt and see if you can jump again to 15, 18 or 20 and once you get those numbers can you get higher and what will it take.

    Every haunt eventually hits a wall and when you can't go up anymore then you should start looking at not increasing attendance but increasing revenue... its not about how many people walk through but how many dollars you can put in the bank!


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