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Season UP or Down... Here is what I'm hearing

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  • Season UP or Down... Here is what I'm hearing

    Is your season, up, down or flat. What is the percentage of up or down.

    Here is what I'm hearing... everyone is down. Every single person I've talked to said DOWN!

    I can tell you a few thoughts on that for one our ticket prices are out of this world. When you raise your prices over and over again well that is going to impact attendance.

    I think haunt prices might have gone over the edge.

    But we'll see what happens after tonight Friday the 13th.

    Larry
    Larry Kirchner
    President
    www.HalloweenProductions.com
    www.BlacklightAttractions.com
    www.HauntedHouseSupplies.com
    www.HauntedHouseMagazine.com

  • #2
    Not one good weekend for weather yet

    Central Michigan corn maze. Opening weekend for maze mid Sept. best opening weekend ever. Then extreme heat....record heat...too dumb hot to walk through corn maze attendance dropped. Then next weekend heat and rain...again fair at best (haunt opened). Then rain and MSU vs. U of M football game Sat . night....and tornado warnings.....but sunday was great for maze (haunt not open sundays) This weekend...tonight looks good then rain too last ALL DAY sat and part way through Sunday. We will go from best opening week ever to way behind avg. pace this weekend. Have chance to make it up as we added extra nights to haunt this year at end of Oct. and added maze open till Nov. 4. % down I do not have in front of me; nor how much we were up opening weekend (17 years in operation) But our maze is $7 and haunt is $15 ...combo is $20. Maze will take you an hour after dark; haunt is 1/4 mile long trail through corn field with 8 shacks as well.

    Good news.....reviews are awesome from people going through and LOTS of New customers who "heard about you from our friends who say this is the place to go". My bean crop - we are shaking our head as to how we got yields as high as we did from no rain in Aug. Driest Aug. we have had in probably 15 years. Corn looks great for yield and this fall it will be dry kernels so we do not spend $$$$$ on propane to dry it before storage. Corn needs rain in July, soybeans need rain in Aug. somehow we got enough at right times. Maybe the Mayan Corn God we carved in the maze back a few years ago is still smiling on me.


    Wicked Farmer
    Last edited by wickedfarmer; 10-13-2017, 06:09 AM.

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    • #3
      I've heard similar to what Larry has said. I know only 1 or 2 haunts near here that are reporting some weekends being up from last year.

      And I agree with the pricing...if you have a combo ticket at $40, and a $10 upgrade for VIP for EACH attraction on the combo, a trip to the haunt for you and a date on a busy night could cost $120 (I've seen this pricing at a haunt near me). And a family of 4 for a night out? Not gonna happen too much. For that much money, people expect a LOT, and I've not seen many haunts that could come close to delivering an experience with that much. And definitely not worth repeating year after year.
      -Eric
      Chief Engineer/Co-Creative Director
      HUSH Haunted Attraction

      sigpic

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      • #4
        up, way up. We were down last year. Been open 15 years and broke two single night attendance records so far. Life is good
        Like a midget at a urinal, you gotta be on your toes

        http://www.wellstownshiphauntedhouse.com

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        • #5
          Update ...after friday night

          Friday night was big. Expect to be closed tonight; unless current rain system stretching hundreds of miles west of me alters course and goes south of us.

          Wicked Wet Farmer

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          • #6
            Yes, ticket prices for our industry have become absurd. This year I have gone to Cedar Point's Halloweekends, Busch Garden Tampa's HallowScream, and Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. Prices were $33, $63.99, and $29.99 respectively. Universal I went on non prime night. No ones haunt should be even close to theme park prices unless you are going to match theme park quality.
            Jared Layman

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            • #7
              I love the high haunt prices! Keep jacking them up, Universal, Busch Gardens, and all the rest! It just sends more Floridians our way! We've kept the same price for nearly a decade, and sure, it's cheaper than it should be ($15), but as the lines get longer, the VIP $25 tickets sell better so that helps, too. And the lines continue to grow earlier and earlier. This year is doing very well so far, with the weather and the football games not conflicting near as much as they usually do. Of course, the weather can change, so I hope I'm not tempting a jinx. But we're hoping for the best season so far.
              www.TerrorOfTallahassee.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mindtumor View Post
                Yes, ticket prices for our industry have become absurd. This year I have gone to Cedar Point's Halloweekends, Busch Garden Tampa's HallowScream, and Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights. Prices were $33, $63.99, and $29.99 respectively. Universal I went on non prime night. No ones haunt should be even close to theme park prices unless you are going to match theme park quality.
                ticket prices ???? look at legendary haunt tour prices if you want absurd

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                • #9
                  Second year. Second location (semi permanent, hopefully be here until we can purchase land)
                  Numbers are UP! Last saturday, we did almost the same numbers for the entire last season, in one night!
                  This weekend we shall see.

                  Immediate market. One major haunt in direct area. 1 new haunt outside of us. Travel 60 miles north and a major player up there that does a claimed 30-60k in attendance, and it's in a very small town.

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                  • #10
                    To be fair, there has been a lot of rain in the central US. A friend of mine who runs a haunt in Iowa says he's only been able to open one night due to bad weather and will probably get rained out this weekend too.
                    http://www.bigscaryshow.com
                    http://www.rabidbadger.org

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                    • #11
                      I wasn't trying to say those theme park prices were expensive, I thought those were good prices. I don't think just regular old haunted houses should be any where near what the theme parks are charging.
                      Jared Layman

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                      • #12
                        Biggest night of 17 years...

                        Ok...but remember weather was terrible for us last weekend...and before that it was just too darn hot to be in a corn field. And I should have said BIGGEST DAY as maze opened at 1 pm and haunt at 7 pm So...decipher as you wish.


                        Wicked Farmer
                        Last edited by wickedfarmer; 10-22-2017, 07:25 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Now I expect to end DOWN

                          Even a record setting weekend; my biggest in 17 years cant beat the forecast here for next two weekends. I thought last year was bad for weather....this year will kick my butt for an outdoor event. Forecast is for rain all weekend so people will make other plans EVEN IF WEATHER TURNS OUT GREAT. The last 3 years here we got BEAUTIFUL weather the first 2 weekends in Nov. ...better than Oct! And we added a weekend late in season and it was barely worth being open since it was not advertised. So I decided to add Nov. 3 and 4 this year to all our advertising for CORN MAZE not the haunt. Forecast is for rain all through this next week and that weekend now. Out of our 7 week season...we had ONE good weekend for weather; and several where 1 or 2 days of weekend was fair.. I will make expenses of props, advertising, and paying 40 people $11 an hour...but no more for all my time and time I travel across the USA to see you beautiful people and swap props with you every winter.

                          Wicked Farmer is even entertaining the idea of looking at an exit strategy from the business of haunting over the next 5 years or so. My father who farms with me is 75. When I am building haunt in our corn field he is harvesting and hauling beans in fall by himself. But he is one if you were to try to make him stop; you better bring 4 guys with you. It is in his blood and soul to farm but age is catching up.

                          So; we will tear everything out of the corn field and put it all in the barn (too rickety for using as haunt) and the snout of corn head on combine will be on my tail getting it all tore out. it will disapear in 3 days time...all contents of 8 shacks; all the airlines etc. We will harvest, plow it under, and see you in St. Louis. Next spring we will start all over planting the seed, then putting in trails dreaming of good weather for October 2018.

                          Wicked Wet Farmer

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                          • #14
                            We haven't really been hampered by rain. I'm talking to lots of haunts all saying attendance is down.

                            A have a few idea's...

                            1) Some theme parks are advertising FREE entry if you buy a 2018 season pass. This can't help.
                            2) Price its just gone sky high
                            3) Lack of PR (Trump gets all the PR even when it comes to sports Trump gets all the PR) Politics has become the new thing everyone talks about
                            4) Possible over flooding of haunts, and events. There are more halloween related events that have opened than ever before.
                            5) Good horror movies this year could have hurt. IT made a ton of money.
                            6) Haunt burnout. Maybe people are taking a break.
                            7) Way to difficult to find the right mix of marketing to reach today audience.

                            Larry
                            Larry Kirchner
                            President
                            www.HalloweenProductions.com
                            www.BlacklightAttractions.com
                            www.HauntedHouseSupplies.com
                            www.HauntedHouseMagazine.com

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                            • #15
                              season up down drfrightner

                              hey Larry, since you started this post how is your season up or down tell us

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