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Outdoor attraction question: rescheduling?

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  • Outdoor attraction question: rescheduling?

    I am working on a project in conjunction with Graveside Manor and the Coventry Historical Society of Coventry, CT, in producing a multilayer entertainment attraction. Part of this event is going to be a haunted walk through the woods, but I have run into some concerns. The historical society has said they wish to have the attraction open rain or shine, with no rain date. Since we are going to work by reservation, I see an issue in this. Before I argue my point to them, I was wondering if those of you with outdoor attractions could share with me your terms of operation? When do you call off days, for what conditions, do you reschedule, etc. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    -Luke Alibozek
    - - Luke - -

  • #2
    Hey Luke,

    We usually cancel by 4:00 after studying the radar and reports from various weather stations. If it's been pouring all day and flooding we may cancel earlier. We have had rain dates in the past, sometimes on our main calendar we'd have a TBA notice on those dates. Sometimes we had the need to use them. It is a tough call, having an outdoor haunt can be frustrating but in the nice weather it's awesome.

    Good luck....stop by sometime.



    • #3
      One major factor as to whether or not you would cancel because of rain would be what sort of paths do you have? Mostly flat? Hilly? And where would your guests end up if it was very slippery underfoot? At the bottom of a 40 foot deep rain-washed gulley? Not good.
      Cement sidewalks are very nice to have, large wood chips don't do to badly either, just plain boards or logs get slippery, and never forget grassy paths become dirt , become mud with alot of feet trampling the grass over a short period of time with just a smal amount of moisture.
      I have provided some half-roofs over my walkway maze which is outside , then a rain shelter area where maybe 10 people could huddle as they look at the displays around them.
      If it is raining but not blowing much I give them the option of going back there or not, but having at least half the path covered makes a huge difference to the customers, they can walk hugging the one wall of the maze and stay very dry.
      The half-roof is corrugated sheet galvenised steel and corrugated fiberglass sheets.
      Around here if I put a full roof over it the bees, bats and birds would be moving in to enjoy such protection provided for them. (By me, of course)
      So far none of these critters have deemed the half-roof maze worthy of their habiation or nesting.
      My paths are gravel and stepping stones, which could be better for twice the money and twice the work.


      • #4
        Thanks guys for the help

        We are thinking about suggesting some partial coverings in the woods to protect against light rain (I fear that a compromise will be having rain dates but only for heavy conditions). The overheads cannot cover the entire path due to the spread of the entire event, but at key places it would be a good idea to test.

        Winds are looking to be of a great concern, and we need to express to them that this is not so much an attendance issue but a safety one.

        Wayne, Thank you for your response, we may have to make the call earlier due to the food that is being donated for our dates, but knowing that even an attraction like yours has some rain dates is a good thing to know. I have been to your attraction before, last year was my first year, and I'll be back again. Thank you

        Jim, our paths are generally flat, tree roots and some tripping hazards present but there was talk of laying down sawdust or something to make the path safe(er). Although what we put down wont protect against a downpour, the half-roofs are a great idea (as long as the rain isn't sideways, as you said). I appreciate the advice.
        - - Luke - -


        • #5
          A safety check for a walk in the woods would also be inspecting the trees themselves during daylight for limbs broken, hanging, waiting to finish falling. Big dead trees with no bark on them may fall with no wind , infact one fell here just last night, it was hollow, growing next to the river in a wet-garbage soil with not much sunlight(being shaded by the other bigger trees.