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Going pro??

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Hey guys, this year if am hoping to go pro!! I want to ask you a few questions and pick your brains.

1. How much can I expect to pay for a smaller building (blockbuster size)? How about to rent that same building per month?

2. Who do I contact about getting permits and licenses? How about information regarding pathway size, distance to fire extinguishers, and egress?

3. What can I expect to pay in total buildout? Lumber, hardware, wiring, etc.

4. Anything else I could possibly need to know before making the leap.

I appreciate any and all information ahead of time. I'm just looking to get an idea of a few items here. Doing some research

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· Insert Witty Comment Here
4,484 Posts
First, GO BIG RED!!

Here's an email from a friend who is getting out of the Pro Haunt. The stuff in orange are my changes:

After much thought and a career change that no longer leaves me the time to run a professional haunt, I have decided to sell my haunt. Most of you know what my haunt consists of. Over five hundred walls that bolt together and have a trough for cables and electrical on the top. Coffins, the Last Ride, large tesla coil, fog machines, strobes, led light bars, video and audio equipment...you could equip a rock band with the amps, speakers and mixers I have, security video monitor system, complete graveyard with large crypt, 2 eight foot grim reapers, hidden door in bookcase wall, many antiques, freezer wall door, 3/8 inch cable-hundreds of feet of it, medical equipment, 24' claustrobic tunnel with fans, pneumatic train scene with horn and garage door opener, pneumatic coffin slides, complete mad scientist room, asylum paraphernalia, costumes, masks, autopsy body, and so much more. Sale price is fifty thousand. If you want walls, they are ten dollars each. These are heavy duty built with 2x4's sheathed in 1/2 inch particle board. If I have forgotten anything important please feel free to add to my posting. Here's the financials. I took out a business loan of fifty thousand, and liquidated my 401(k) for an initial investment of $100,000. Each year I reinvested much of the profit back into the haunt by buying additional equipment. As you know, my haunthas a good name in our state as a professional haunt. It's Facebook page has over 2,000 likes. You also get all intellectual property include in the domain name, which is a .com. Hard to come by nowadays. I will help the buyer negotiate a lease with the name of the Mall if you would like to use that again. I will help you the first year with my experience...no labor though

He put this haunt together in the basement garage of a local mall. Since he had to setup/tear down every year, I assume that you would need storage for everything too if you had a temp haunt. I know several people who run pro haunts and a dependable crew is the most difficult thing. Additionally, you have to get by the fire marshal. They had a big money haunt go up a locally a couple of years ago that lost their first Halloween because they couldn't get up to code in time... Once you go pro, it's no longer a hobby, it is a job and your friends become employees and you're more involved with management than building props and haunting. While we have a few pro haunts that have been around a while, I know of at least three people personally that went pro and shutdown a couple of years later for a variety of reasons, one was health, another lost their location, and the third changed careers.
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