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Haunt location issues and solutions

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  • Haunt location issues and solutions

    Hello again my fellow Haunters and enthusiasts,

    I'm sure this is not a new topic but can't seem to find any posts on the subject. Having endured an ongoing location scouting issue since 2005, there are a number of property owners and leasing agents in my area who are willing to lease space on a permanent basis (5-8 years) as opposed to short term. What do you do with this space beyond our Hallowed fall festivities if setting up in a permanent leased (or owned) location? Owning a property is one thing. Leasing is another story all together. Mortgage payments end at some point. Monthly rent doesn't. I guess you could do weddings, commercial photo shoots, birthday parties, retirement parties, etc. but......

    It is my understanding that there are a limited number of year round haunts scattered around the USofA. Does anybody know which haunts are open year round? If so, do they actually operate year round (52 weeks/year) or randomly such as for specific holidays, seasons or special events? This sounds like a somewhat risky proposition because I understand results will vary depending on location, market demographics and numerous other factors.

    I'm considering the idea of a year round haunt basically because a long term lease is easier to acquire than short term. Covering monthly rent would require something going on throughout the rest of the year. An obvious added bonus to a permanent location is being able to stay on a 'permanent' basis and renovate or re-theme during the off season. No looking for new space year after year or dealing with local officials whose egos are far greater than the authority they posess. Many want us to build permanent steel studded, sheetrock walls even if leasing a temporary location. Any thoughts? Suggestions? Thanx in advance.


    "Follow the Bloody Brick Road to Nightmare Village"

  • #2
    Hey Steve

    I read somewhere one time about a place that does a haunt in oct. and then
    resets stuff with santa and chrimas stuff for chrismas. I have thought about
    doing the same thing and also adding in like easter and may be the fourth of July.
    Possiably Valentines day too and may be some other holidays.
    Don't know if you would even consider it but thought I would suggest it to you.

    Last edited by Soul Reaper; 02-14-2011, 06:43 AM.
    a.k.a. The Butcher
    a.k.a. Hauntlord


    • #3
      I have read..

      Often the Christmas displays are mostly frequented by Grandparents brining small children and they don't want to pay more than just $2.oo to see it. Looking for the October ticket price? Might not happen when attached to Christmas...
      BUT, everyone wrote my efforts off here when I started too, still here 25 yrs, later.
      Hard work , long hours, might change things as I see them .(Having read it here)
      Who knows?


      • #4
        We've worked with several haunts that switch over to Christmas mode right after Halloween (usually opens that show at Thanksgiving and runs into early January). This has proven to be very successful, because you can tap into the family market more.

        I know of a few year round haunts; and the majority are located in tourist towns.
        Katie Lane
        Raven's Wolf Art Productions (

        Bansheette Morningstar (


        • #5
          We lease and maintain a facility year-round. Currently, we do three major products (Valentine's Weekend - just got done with that!, the 4th of July weekend, and the normal Halloween Season). We pay the entire year up front.

          The times we aren't operating shows (performances as we call 'em), we are busy preparing for the next one. Building, sets, tech, audio, detail, marketing, training, recruiting, etc... it takes a lot of time and effort from a lot of people, so we physically use the haunt 4 or 5 times per week for those kinds of activities and meetings.

          We will do other events on demand - corp team building, birthday parties, etc... but those seriously can distract from preparing for the other shows, so they would have to pay pretty well before we'd consider it.

          Good luck!

          -- Ian



          • #6
            Ya im thinking about doing the same thing or like take down half the haunt after october and do like a teen night club on weekends or somthing like that.


            • #7
              Year round

              Thanx for the feedback, Everybody. I've kicked around the same ideas and contemplated the negative issues as well. Living in the Philly burbs, there are no true tourist areas nearby outside of Sesame Place (10 miles away) and Parx Casino (literally right across the street from me). The Jersey, Delaware or Maryland shores come to mind for a summer season fun house. Not a bad thing but my real passion is the Halloween season and theme. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.


              "Follow the Bloody Brick Road to Nightmare Village"


              • #8
                Steve, Yes you do..

                "Gotta do what you gotta do', but then why not do What You Want to do?
                The Ravens Grin Inn will have been open 9,000 nights this year! (in 25 years)
                I wanted to be open, I needed to be open, yes, my name is Jim, and I'm an addict!
                "Where is my audience? I need one now!" Many moons ago I decided I did have favorite and a not-so-favorite audiences. I encouraged the audience I wanted to entertain, and they mostly do show up here!
                I like audiences that are 1) More sober than not.
                2) are attentive
                3)Have measurable intelligence and act accordingly
                4 ) they must have an imagination
                5) They might be any age, but older are usually better.
                6) Must have a sense of humor

                So then... away we go! Just like a few hours ago. Two young women in the area staying at a local Bed& Breakfast and they fit my perfect audience profile .This means we all had alot of fun! (But "They" paid me, I didn't pay them!)