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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok - so this year im pretty sure im going to be doing a haunted house at my local park on their large tennis courts - and of course as we all know, tennis courts dont have any sort of protection from the elements - which a haunted house DOES need -

so i was wondering what anyone else has done in the past - i have before built my own roofing out of conduit pipe and tarps, but that was only like 16x40 and this year the haunt will bascially be a "pro" haunt with an admission price, advertising, and all the trimmings - so its going to have to be a nice big haunt - meaning a nice big roof - nothing less than 2000 sqft - and hopefully more along the lines of 3000 - even still - thats not that big - roughly 30x100 or any other configuration - with that said - its a pretty big area to cover with a roof - ive been looking at large outdoor tents and OMG - $$$$$! although we will be charging an admission - some of the money - 1$ of every ticket sales - will go to the park - and i really dont have a budget - whatever goes into it comes from the pocket - just hoping that it will be made back - i do have supplies from previous years so its not like im starting from scratch - but still - this will be a huge money investment - - - - but with that said - i dont want to skimp so much that i loose any quality or have to be constantly repairing - PA as im sure many other states - is known to have some WINDY octobers, so black plastic over PVC is NOT an option

anyway - just figured id throw this up here - thanks for any help guys - riley
 

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Thats funny I was wondering where you were as most courts in my area surrounded by atleast eight foot fence. This leading to the thought that pvc poles in the middle weighted (think tent) and then using true rubber bunjie cords for tension at the fence. This however is based on my experience and may not aplly to you. I am in south eastern pa if I can be of any help Pm me.
An hours drive is no sweat. No promises though I am trying to change jobs right now.
 

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There is a haunt out there that I saw recently that did their haunted house on a Tennis Court. I think the planner is around here (meaning haunt forum) somewhere. If I remember the website, I will pass it along. Im sure someone will remember. There is a good "how to" for setting it up... wish I could remember right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
where do you live? thats pretty close to me - im in shippensburg - which is close to chambersburg and about 40 min south of harrisburg

good thinking with using the existing fence - i think ours is 10 ft - not sure - i think your pole idea would work, but i dont know about the bunjies to the fence - im guessing you were thinking of putting a tarp type things across it? - last year my haunt was only a fraction of this - i had actual braces like youd see for housing and the weight of rain actually bent the metal rods a bit and made a puddle - im thinking the bunjies would probably sag as well - i dunno though - i could be wrong - any one do this sort of thing before?


heres some progress pics of last year - it help up ok - but the tarp was a PITA to keep taunt so that wind didn't get under it - and it even came off one day - much to my frustration - grrrr - but yeah - im just thinking if something this small was hard to controll - something on a larger scale would be incredibly unruly and almost impossible with just a frame and a makeshift tarp - is there anyway to make a "hard" type of roof without spendin an art and a leg?? i think this will be my bigges challenge - once the roof is taken care of the haunt will be a sinch - in comparison at least - thanks for all the help - keep those ideas comin - slightlymad - once construction starts your ALWAYs welcome to come lend a hand!! - riley
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i agree that the tent would be the best bet- as long as im not charged like 3000 for it - i was looking on the web for some ideas of what pricing is - anyone ever buy/rent one? at a decent price? - thanks - riley
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
definitely agreed - i think if i advertise right - i can do pretty good - there is a large town about 10 miles from me - that has a haunt - its the closest around - and IMO it blows - so hopefully those people if i get the word out up at that town would drive to a haunt that is hopefully going to be better and half the price - theres is 10 - im thinkin five for mine - its our first pro year - is that a good price or should it be 6? anyone can chime in here - hopefully it will be 15-20 min long - riley
 
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If you price too cheap, most folks will think it isn't worth it.

But from all the seminars I've been to, I think the going rate you need to be at is $15 @ head. But, you'll be having a smaller venue.
Another thought is to set up a sales stand, glow items do very well, of course if you buy right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
good call with the glow items - would be very proffitable - just buy bulk and you can make a good price -

good point about pricing too cheap - but would people be willing to pay say 7-8 dollars (i do want to keep it less than the haunt that is close to me which is 10) for a new haunt that no one has seen before? - now i do have an ace in pocket - for the past 2 years ive done a "donations accepted haunt" that was a huge hit in my town - and said was better than the pro one i spoke of before - but you know what i mean? are people curious enough to risk the 8 bucks on a new haunt? i am confident that if they do "risk" it they wont be dissapointed, but they have to get in there first - i was thinking about opening it up to the press for a tour a week in advance of opening day so people know its lagit once it hits the newspapers - i dunno - all this stuff is new to me and adds a whole new element to the game - im confident in my haunting abilities - just not my marketing and all that jazz - riley
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
buisness plan????? i know basically what you mean - but what EXACTLY are the technicalities of this? - see THIS kinda stuff is scarier to me than any freakin haunted house! - riley
 
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business plan :In a nutshell, the business plan should clearly explain the what, why, when, who and how of the project. It should be a comprehensive explanation of the opportunity, the people involved, the money required to implement the plan, where it will come from and what financial results the opportunity is likely to produce.

Here's a link: http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/getready/index.html
 

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This year we're charging $5 to go through our haunt which will probably be about 20 minutes total, but then again this all goes to charity so if they want to donate more, than thats fine. I honestly think that $15 is pushing it for the first year of a pro haunted house. If you go to a haunt like the North Babylon Fire Dept one, you'll see that every wall is covered with corpses, and theres easily over a hundred thousand dollars put into animatronics and other props/effects. I'd say anywhere from $5 to $10 would be reasonable.... and your haunt video from last year was very good so bumping up the price a bit couldn't hurt
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
very good posts guys - so is the purpose of this "plan" of sorts basically for me so that i know what all i need to take care of - what i need to alot money to ect.? bascially to keep me organized and honest to myself in what i can and cannot do? is that basically the main purpose - as of now im basically in this myself - a one man show as of now - i have some friends that want to help but we all know how that goes - no one is ever as dedicated as we are and therefor dont take it as seriously ect ect...i do want to right this up now - this plan - so i can just give myself an outline of sorts - FE - you seem to know a good amount about this - are you experienced? -

spartan - where will your haunt be held? like inside - outside ect

riley
 

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My haunt runs around the side of my house, through the backyard, across the deck and inside the first floor. We tried to get a building last year (like we did way back in 7th grade) but unfortunately the town association didn't let us and it was pretty small anyway. Plus since its at home I don't have to worry about lugging the ten thousand pounds of props and costumes etc.

Anyway, good luck with your haunt... unfortunately I can't really help you out on how to make a roof since last year mine too got destroyed (long story) but I hope everything turns out great
 

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All I can say is advertise advertise and open for the press! Good publicity for the park too so maybe you can work some stuff out with the park people too! I go up to a campground in PA that maybe I can coax my buddies to go to your haunt...depending how close you are...I'll PM you about that...

Also, a little pro haunt by me by a Pizza Place lost buisness because of no advertising and a $15 price. They did have a nifty strobe light to catch attention and fog...try a big sign at the park with a skeleton near! (Hint: Terror Syndicate)
 

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Hey Riley,

Be sure to find out what type of code enforcement you will be subject too. Do this before you buy anything. A guy near me decided to put up a small tent haunt for small kids and families at his sportsplex business. next thing you know he had to buy a sprinkler system for it which cost many thousands. The tent may have to have a specific fire rating.

Here are a bunch of questions you won't like :>)
Are you using wood walls? How are you getting power out there? will you need to rent a generator? Do you know how much power you will need? Will you need theatrical cable electrical cords? Do you have a secure ticket booth? You can't just have a table out in the open. Who will collect the money, you or the park? Do you have liability insurance? do you have a business license? Do you have workers compensation insurance? Are you hiring actors or using volunteers? How long do you have for set up and break down? You will need to be insured for that too.

As for advertising. This is indeed a major part of the budget. You should expect to spend $3.00 for each person you need to attract. Is the park helping to promote this? can they get the local news media out there? They are making money even if you lose your shirt so find out what they are going to do for you. If the park takes a dollar and marketing costs 3 dollars, that is 4 dollars you are not getting per ticket. You can expect to attract one to two percent of your population. So if you are drawing from a million people, you hope to eventually attract 10 to 20 thousand customers. This would be for a well established attraction. If your population is small, don't expect those numbers. For a new attraction, it just isn't going to happen. Grass roots type stuff like fliers posters and coupons are great but they cost money too and are very very time consuming to do it effectively.

If you are thinking of investing in tents, maybe you should consider trailers. You would have instant storage, it would be mobile, you could move it to different locations each year and even use it in local fairs in the summer. Plus, it could be worked on year round. These are the realities of running a pro attraction :>)
Email me offlist if you want.
Later!
 
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