We're back again to tackle another issue of Hauntworld Hot News.
A grand jury finally indicted the club owners and band Great White for the fire in Rhode Island, which killed over 100 people. Last year many people felt the wrath of these horrific fires from fire marshals nationwide. Not only are the band, nightclub owners being sued but the entire town and some officials. This tragic fire is the exact reason why building inspectors must look out for the best interest of everyone. Our industry is an easy target and could be put right out of business without even a whimper. Now more than ever some organization of haunted houses in conjunction with vendors needs to create a safety manual to be distributed through all vendor websites. Through vendor websites we should be able to penetrate the majority of haunts across the nation. We're not only potentially saving lives, and our industry but we're also throwing up the first line of defense against those who would claim our industry is a tragedy waiting to happen. It's better to be proactive than sit back and do nothing.
Look no further than these facts in the aftermath of the nightclub blaze… "In the wake of the fire, Gov. Don Carcieri called for emergency inspections of all public buildings similar to The Station, and the state formed a commission to investigate the blaze. State lawmakers passed stringent new fire-safety standards, including stricter rules on sprinkler requirements for older buildings. The blaze also led other states to propose tougher fire regulations for clubs." Yahoo News
Will our industry be next if and when a fire happens? You had better bet your BUTT on it!!! It makes us sick to our stomach to think IAHA who created a version of a safety manual two years ago, refuses to release any information to promote safety throughout the Halloween industry. Finally a real association will step up to the plate and take the lead and ensure that our industry thrives for many years to come! We can't afford to sit back and let some tragedy affect us in the same way these fires have hit the nightclub industry.
Speaking of safety manuals…Hauntworld.com would like to announce the formation of a loose based haunted house owner/operator association. This association will be limited to haunted house owners/operators, vendors and various experts in different fields such as promotion or marketing. Issues will be explored such as national insurance, sponsorships, promotions, to national safety awareness for haunts. This group will focus exclusively on issues that could impact your business and nothing else. Through the strength of this group all sorts of issues can be addressed such as the TW admission policy, etc. We encourage all owners and operators to join this group by visiting this link: groups.yahoo.com/group/dark_attraction_association/join/
Back to IAHA for a moment…when we finally needed a strong and unified haunted house organization to deal with the messy issue of admission to the TW show IAHA proved yet again to be next to useless. Even though they made constant claims on message boards that they had been 'negotiating' with Transworld nothing ever came from it. Even after it was apparent that they had no influence, they kept insinuating that they still were negotiating for IAHA members. I personally feel it's time to wake up and smell the coffee. We do need an organization to deal with such issues, but only one that is operated by haunted house owners, operators and vendors. And it is more apparent than ever IAHA and the same band of 5 or 6 people who really run the organization do not have the best interest of our industry in mind, nor do they have the ability to lead us there. They're now pushing this IAAPA show harder than ever even though almost every haunted house owner and vendor have told them over and over again…WRONG MONTH FOR A SHOW! Is IAHA leading or dividing? You be the judge!
IAAPA, the who, the what and the why. The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) has been the center of much discussion in our industry. We thought we'd take a moment to explain the basics of IAAPA. First off IAAPA is THE most important entity for the amusement industry, of which haunted houses would be included. IAAPA is a huge lobbing group that fights laws that could hurt and or pushes for new laws that would benefit the amusement industry. Without IAAPA you would see all sorts of new laws that could adversely affect the amusement industry. IAAPA holds a trade show each year in November, which marks the end of the season for most amusement facilities. Should a haunted house owner attend this show on an annual basis? Hmmm…I've heard many haunters say it was fun but not practical as most vendors are selling things that do not relate to their business. I would agree with this statement, however there are things you can learn and find throughout the show. I've always encouraged people to attend the IAAPA show, if not every year at least every couple of years. If you want your hard earned money to go to an association that is actually working for the amusement industry you should join IAAPA. To learn more go to www.iaapa.org.
Halloween Productions aka Dark Rider was hired by Kennywood Amusement Park to build a Garfield Dark Ride. You can track their progress on www.halloweenproductions.com