Quote Originally Posted by Jim Warfield View Post
Looked into how much the property taxes on each building would be?
Mere square footage is the commonist determining factor but location, market value and location can also come into play, and of course selling price.
Once you over pay for a place the tax man says, "Well, it must be worth that much because you paid that much for it!"
Buy cheap and it's all ready half sold.(at a profit)
I didn't think about that. I'll definitely look into it! Thank you!

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
1. For each building, have there been or are there other haunted attractions in the area and how well did/do they do?
There are 2 well established haunts about 30 minutes away from me and there's a new one opening up this year in the same area. We have also been doing our yard haunt in this area for four years, and have created a great fan base! We get a lot of the same people every year, but our attendance doubles every year as well.

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
2. If there is no history of haunted attractions in a 50 to 100 mile radius, what other offerings are in the area that share a common target audience with you? (i.e. Family Ent. Center, bowling alley, skate park, movies, etc.) Check with them. Also, never forget about contacting the City Advertising and Promotion Commission (if there is one), the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, etc. to solicit their input)
We do have a bowling alley, skate park, and a movie theater all within about a mile radius of Big Blue. And I will be contacting the city this weekend about what they think. I have talked to some people from the city before and they all entertained the idea so I'm getting my hopes up!

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
3. I agree with the others, you may quickly out-grow 3,000 square feet. Of course it depends on the type of show you plan to provide. If you are planning a more theatrical show with guests spending more time in each room/set, you may be able to work with this.
Well last year my yard haunt was a total of about 1,000 sq feet. But after I figure the indoor queue line, actor space, bathrooms, and workspace, there wouldn't be much room left!

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
4. This is a big one! What are the building inspector and fire marshal requirements on each of the buildings? They should be the very first point of contact. You probably already are aware of this, but I just wanted to mention it. Being hit with a really big and unexpected expense to bring a building up to code can take a business down fast.
Ahh yes. I will be talking with the city about this and get in contact with the right person to make sure everything will be up to code.

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
Man, my mind is reeling! There are so many considerations. I would like to say this... Although now is a great time to buy and get a great deal, there's nothing like being able to test run an area under a lease/option so that if you determine the market in the location isn't able to sustain the business because there just isn't a large enough target audience or interest, you aren't stuck with a building you now have to sell under duress. If you can get a lease with an option to buy, with an aggreed upon purchase price and a portion of the lease being applied toward the down payment if you choose to buy, this is what I'd recommend. Of course if your research shows that there is a definite strong market in the area and you are confident that your attendance will at least sustain the business, then by all means negotiate a good purchase price! There are a lot of motivated sellers right now and your bank may hold the note on a property or two that you can get a great deal on!
We are having a meeting with the owner this weekend, hopefully we will get something like this worked out!

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
Last word of advice before I shut up. LOL Find out which bank in your area writes the highest volume of SBA loans and go to that bank to apply for an SBA loan! They are far more likely to get an "alternative / seasonal" business loan approved by SBA when they present with a package of many others. You will need to convince them that you've done your homework and your are presenting them with a viable business. If they are a community supportive bank, they will appreciate anything you can share with them as to how your business will benefit the area residents and businesses. If you are a for-profit, I'd recommend you include in your mission statement and business plan to make charitable contributions to organizations that are held in high regard in the area. It's good business sense and it's good karma too!
THANKS! Didn't think about that at all!

Quote Originally Posted by Raycliff Manor View Post
Best of luck with this! I hope my "sound bytes" are helpful. There's a lot involved in owning and operating a haunted attraction, just like there is with any business. It comes with great sacrifices and it offers great rewards. Just be prepared to be patient and take it one step at a time. If you aren't a solid business person, I'd recommend you link up with someone who is. To be successful there needs to be a good balance of business savy, management skills, marketing ability, creative talent, technical skills and a whole lot of PASSION to keep the drive alive! I'm sure I've left several out. In conclusion, FINALLY, right!, I just want to say... You can do it! ; ) Keep us posted on your progress!

Thanks so much Kel! I'll be sure to keep you all posted as I get things figured out!

Thanks again!