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When should you be done?

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  • When should you be done?

    This next Halloween will be my first year opening. I've never done anything like this before, I have no prior business experience, and my love for Haunted Houses only started in October of 2010. I'm VERY ambitious though, and this is something I REALLY want to do. I've already had my meeting with the city planning commission and things are looking really positive for me. However, they say I need to have insurance. From my understanding on Haunt insurance, and from what I've learned from browsing the net, it seems to me that you have to have time for an inspector to go through your haunt before you can actually get your coverage, and that coverage usually won't start until 2-4 weeks after they get all the necessary paper work from you, including the inspection results. So my question is, due to all this stuff needing to be done, when exactly should your haunt be ready? I'm renting a rodeo stadium for my haunt, and I need to be able to find out how long I need it for. I was thinking maybe I would rent it for September and October. Construct in September for the first three weeks, have the inspection during the last week, and wait three more weeks for insurance work to go through for coverage, then run the haunt for the last week. Is that a good idea? Is there more i need to consider? Thanx guys!

    The haunt is a non-for-profit

    ~Josh Thompson

  • #2
    Email Ken Donat of Westland Insurance, he's a popular haunt person and for an insurance agent, is a pretty good guy.


    • #3
      What is his email?
      ~Josh Thompson


      • #4
        I take it you didn't watch the video. It's at the bottom in the description, a simple google search of Ken Donat would have worked equally well lol.


        • #5
          Ken is nice and insurance it's an arm and a leg either. Little more then home owners insurance.


          • #6
            Ken is awesome - we also have a summer concert venue and ended up getting insurance through him for that as well!


            • #7
              Time frame....

              On your original question of how long it will take to set it up all depends on what the haunt is, how big it is, and how many team members you have helping you. A lot of these guys on the forums can really throw up a good haunt quick, but most have a good and dedicated team that has done it year after year. Being the first year I would allow myself plenty of time. I am a small operation with just 2 or 3 people to design/build/repair/etc. periodically during the year and then about 30-40 to run it during the halloween season.....I am lucky to have a permanent setup but it still took me a long time with trial and error and lots of research and help from these forums to get everything right because I had never constructed a haunted attraction either. Also, I did most all of the marketing myself and you can set up your internet marketing on hauntworld etc. as early as you want, but we put out LOTS of political signs, banners at other haunted houses, drove the hearse around to different shopping centers and events, etc. and you can't really start putting the signs out until about labor day and expect them to last around here through the haunt season. What I'm getting at yourself plenty of time for marketing because without good marketing nobody even knows you're there. A lot of haunts spend until the last second on building and then try to start marketing on a limited budget and no matter how good your attraction is nobody will know about it without good marketing. Also, have your team of helpers picked out and ready to work as soon as you get the OK to start.....As any owner will tell you there are always going to be last minute things that come up, things break, certain things don't work like they should and you may be working on stuff the day of and possibly even during being open.....but good luck to you and these forums will really help you with a lot of questions. Also, it may be different in your area but I would concentrate on Fridays and Saturdays in October instead of a week constant, especially with volunteers that have to work/school the next morning during the week. Also, the last weekend before Halloween is not our busiest weekend, but it may be different everywhere you go. Search the forums and you can go back on years of topics. Oh, and we had Ken for our insurance too.....hope I helped!
              Last edited by SCfearfarm; 12-15-2011, 04:57 PM.


              • #8
                I Worked on mine

                For about three years before I decided I finally had something worthy of showing the entire world.
                I began when I was still working another job, but I spent all my time otherwise working here on my haunt. I was working on it until I would be so tired I would collapse into a mattress and fall asleep no matter my immeadiate surroundings.
                In that third year after one good October, I quit my other job and took the big the big risk(figuring it would pay off!) to do this full-time with no interuptions from a phone(I none for a few years here, I had Work to Do!)
                My early house tours were "Someday Tours", just walking the curious through the house teling them "someday" I will have this right here and that right there."
                Of course the house itself is quite a curiosity with it's location, wine cellar, haunted reputation and over the years I have also become a curiosity to many as well.
                The "Village Idiot" made something out of almost nothing, with nothing much to work with but his own sweaty back and his imagination.
                This is what irt took here for me.
                No rich Uncle or other relatives, no bag of gold found in my rototiller path. No Bank would loan me a penny on this old house, and I had No Money at all just one nice elderly man who knew I had a great idea and a proven work ethic, so he loaned me the money.
                I did pay him back, of course too.
                It wasn't too hard selling him my dream because he had once had his dream, he followed it and he was very successful.
                Need backing? Seek such a person.


                • #9
                  If you need help...

                  Please join my facebook page and the west coast haunters convention facebook page as well.

                  my email is haunteded@gmail or westcoasthauntcon@gmail, I'd be glad to help. If youcan make it out to our show in June of 2012 you will meet some of the best in the business and hey are willing to sit down and talk
                  shop with you too.

                  Ed Roberts
                  The Nightmare Factory