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

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  • #16
    I think one of the biggest problems that every Tom Dick and Harry opens a haunted house and wants to charge big prices for it. I see houses all the time around here that open up and yesrbone or even after a couple years and they want to charge what the big guys charge even though they have 1/10 the production. I think unless you have a good 10 years or close to it and have a solid reputation you shouldn't be charging more than $15 for a haunted house.

    DA

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    • #17
      Up - Perfect weather

      We're at least 10% up on attendance this year. We are all outdoor and weather has been absolutely perfect. A little warm, but this is the first year we haven't had to close a single night due to rain. 14 nights total. Tonight's weather looks perfect, but our 2 November nights are looking iffy. They're usually a bit slower though.

      We did increase prices this year from 25 for a deluxe ticket to 30. No more complaints than other years and still selling out the nights later in the season. We hadn't really raised prices for 6 or so years. That 30 gets you the cornightmare, the hayride, the forest trail and we have a bangin midway with a huge slide, dance party, fires, kareoke, etc. We have a cheaper 15 ticket if you just want to hangout in the midway and take a hayride.

      We're on our 9th year. 20 miles outside of Washington DC. A few haunts in the area, some good sized ones about an hour away. The haunt industry is starting to take off here but isnt huge right in this area.
      Lucas Cox
      Cox Farms
      www.Fieldsoffear.com

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      • #18
        Having been stuck out in California now for 4 years (near LA)... There are so few haunted attractions compares to the east coast.

        This area is just waiting for someone big/good to open up.

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        • #19
          I don't think popular horror movies like "It" can hurt attendance. I believe if they are GOOD, they only INCREASE attendance. The more mainstream media features a subject, the more the mainstream audience gets excited about it. Whether it's Obama or Trump, or whatever else-- more interest equals more involvement. More exposure puts the subject foremost into people's minds, and that's good for the subject overall. The only reason a flood of horror related movies could hurt us is when the quality goes DOWN and people get tired of being burned. This applies to haunts also. The more GOOD haunts, the better everyone's business will be. But when poor ones open up and people go, waste their money, and feel ripped off, they tend to stop going in general --or at very least, reduce their experimentation with new haunts.
          Last edited by monsterwax; 11-04-2017, 07:10 PM.
          www.TerrorOfTallahassee.com

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          • #20
            good news..bad news

            Well I think it was 2 weekends ago on a Friday night we saw stars last; and NOT ONE NIGHT did the moon interfere with hiding in corn this year at all. Rain drops and a few snow flakes yes. Two weekends ago we had our biggest night of 17 years like I said earlier....but weather kicked our butt for maze and haunt. Not much rain in July or Aug. hardly; but still managing to pull off 190 bushel/acre corn yields which is below last few years as well; but I'll take it as a win considering weather. This weekend was better than I expected based on scattered rain on Friday and Sat. scoring direct hits on all the cities around us like Japanese planes over Battleship Row at Pearl Harbor. Swept in and hammered the cities about 4-6 pm and flew off. Mildly shocked seeing big stream of cars coming down the road those nights. Sunday night we finished the haunt part of season rockin for about 2 hours then someone turned off the switch....just stopped dead at the end of night. Of course...we close ticket booth a 9 pm sunday so no big surprise.

            The good news....besides a few A------- we kicked out. PEOPLE FREAKIN LOVED IT!! Compliments gushing forth with no hesitation to rattle off "You blow ____________ right out of the water!" Word of mouth BEATS EVERYTHING ELSE in advertising. We had a nice mix of "We have been coming here for ____ years" And "Our first time here; our friends told us and we wil be coming back!". I think we would have been up IF we had had the weather.

            We are already tearing down hauling props out of the corn field and storing for winter delivery to those of you who trade with me. Back to the drawing board for 2018; as it will be time to kick Mother Natures butt next year.


            Wicked Farmer

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            • #21
              We got rained out on a Saturday 3 weeks ago, but the next weekend was biggest ever, actually to big for us to handle. We are a train ride, so there are only so many per ride, time for ride, etc. We had a lot of bad reviews with long waits, plus we had to speed up the ride to get people through. And, since we have volunteer haunters, most left about 11:00. We close at 10, but didn't get done until 12:30......got in trouble with township for noise, complaining neighbor.
              Last sat was a perfect crowd, continuous crowds, but finished up at 11:00. As a whole we are down a little, mostly due to weather. Still we did ok, started plans for next year

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              • #22
                I should have added....

                I should have added for better clarity some other conditions. When we started 17 years ago there were only a couple places like us in area. There have been 3 others come and go within a 15 minute drive of us...hang around a few years then fade away. A couple more have come along and now 3 offer a haunt and 2 a corn maze within 20 minutes of us. Within 45 minutes of us there are too many to count. With all of this our trendline is still up. About mid Sept. 3 guys in a pickup stopped by with driver pointing out things to other guys from parking lot. I expect next year to see another corn maze and haunt pop up about 8 miles south of me next year. The driver was showing his buddies how they were going to get rich. I walked over to the truck as we were building the haunt and asked if I could help them...in a 'Why are you here?" tone of voice. Oh just looking your place over type of answer. They were looking at my parking lot the length of two football fields while saying 'My kids tell me YOU ARE PACKED!!!!", referring to how busy we get. I tried not to laugh as they drove away counting their chickens before they hatch.

                Wicked Farmer
                Last edited by wickedfarmer; 10-31-2017, 09:15 AM.

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                • #23
                  I agree Tommy!

                  Originally posted by tommy g View Post
                  ticket prices ???? look at legendary haunt tour prices if you want absurd
                  I agree Tommy, We used to love going to these specialty events. It gave us an opportunity to see what our fellow haunters were doing. However the last time we went we did not see the value, for the price of the ticket, time off and lodging. We attended every year until 2 years ago and won't be attending Legendary Haunt this year either

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kenton View Post
                    ticket prices ???? look at legendary haunt tour prices if you want absurd
                    To be fair, the whole point is to give other haunt owners the ability to experience other haunts out of season right? And haunts and haunt actors aren't free. Organization and maintenance costs right? I wouldn't expect it to be cheap to run a haunt out of the normal season without the thousands of customers streaming through to pay for it. I would expect prices to be higher. If anyone should appreciate the costs and headache involved it should be other haunt owners.

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                    • #25
                      He certainly has a point. Organizing a large haunt for a non-season smaller crowd isn't going to be profitable. You hope they don't get carried away and charge triple or anything, but a bit more to cover all expenses, hassle, and make it worth their while isn't unreasonable.
                      www.TerrorOfTallahassee.com

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                      • #26
                        fitting end for the season

                        We opened NON haunted maze for Friday and Sat. Friday night was our largest Nov/post Halloween day of 17 years...fantastic!!!. Saturday....thunderstorms rolled in and crushed us. Perfect scenario to cap off how season went.

                        Wicked Farmer

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                        • #27
                          Our season was up by about 40%. We lucked out and had great weather all 8 nights, great response to our new additions, no bad responses to our price increase, and overall almost a perfect year. We're excited to keep going, hopefully we can get lucky enough with weather in the future. Might try our hands at a hay ride this next year. Going to be a lot of work but what isn't in this industry?
                          THE BLACK FOREST
                          22 Years of SCREAMS
                          www.facebook.com/BlackForestHaunt

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                          • #28
                            Way to go Black Forest!

                            22 years....and going up with price increase; nice job! You MUST be doing something right. Just a heads up on hay ride. I see a lot of complaints about hayrides near us being lame. Much harder to scare a wagon load and give everyone a GOOD show without uping risk factor to actors. (now if those who do it right will jump in and tell you I am full of what comes out of west end of a bull facing the sunrise and tell you how to do it right....you are welcome



                            Wicked Farmer
                            Last edited by wickedfarmer; 11-06-2017, 06:59 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Apologies for a reply that is out of place on this thread but a quick rebuttal to Wicked Farmers statement seems justified. I would hope that no haunt would be dissuaded from a Hayride on the belief that a wagon load (of people) is hard to scare! Every haunt, whether indoor or outdoor has its own set of challenges and I'm sure that Wicked Farmer would agree with this, as he recently (and playfully, I assume) offered $1000.00 to anyone who could make him a system which would track his guests who denied being scared in his haunt.

                              True, it can be difficult to scare a large group of guests at one time but I'll take my chances with a Hayride, over the "conga-line" type haunts which are more common then we care to admit, any day! I will continue to say, you may not scare them all on a Hayride but you can entertain them all and you can easily do that without ever having to put your talent at risk. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming...

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                              • #30
                                You nailed it

                                Except you didn't tell him how to do it. And I never conga line. My customers tell me about haunts all around us. And they seem to be harsh on hayrides around us more so than same places indoor or outdoor haunted trail. Hayrides...fun. Haunts .... fun. Haunted hayrides....let down. That is the feedback we get. Now I KNOW there are some kick butt hayrides out there. Just put a caution flag out there so someone who was doing real good makes sure they don't tarnish reputation. Yes I was being silly.....but a mixture of seriousness.


                                Wicked Farmer
                                Last edited by wickedfarmer; 11-06-2017, 04:06 PM.

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