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Observations at a pro haunt

1552 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Jaybo
Before I begin going over an observation that I noticed at a pro haunt over the weekend I would like say to that that I am in way no bashing pro haunts. I just noticed something and I am wondering how it will impact attendance for the current season and in future years. Actually I am a big fan of pro haunts and what they are able to pull if done correctly.

Now on to my observations and questions. Over the weekend I went to a pro haunt that I have attended in past and have really enjoyed. In the past this haunt has embodied everything that I enjoy about Halloween, In some respects I would say it's almost an art haunt. It was very well put together and even though they do not have the latest and greatest props the owners seemed to have a true love for the season.

I think it's important to note that this is their second season at this location. The first season was amazing, when I walked into what would be considered the courtyard it was like into Halloween. It instantly got excited for the season and to see the their haunts, which I thought were very good. Long story short, in my opinion they really took their haunt to a new level last year and it was over the top.

This year on the other hand was not quite as impressive, but still pretty good. I could tell that level of effort put into this year was not close to the amount of the previous year. However because of the amazing haunt last year I think that word got out around the community and the numbers of people that showed for a mid October weekend was very impressive. When I compare this to what I saw from last year which was closer to the end of October the haunt has had a big increase in attendance.

Now here is where I ask myself, why would someone spend all that time and effort one year to increase your numbers and then not maintain that level of effort the second year? If I were the owner I would be afraid of losing not only returning customers, but I also having one time only customers. I understand that sometimes haunts have better years than others, but by having inconsistency in the level of haunt that you have are you setting yourself up to be just an average haunt or even worse a haunt that has to close it doors. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
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I run a 'pro' haunt, I'm in my second year, and I can tell you this, it is more work than I imagined. I spent 6 hours today just dealing with a sound system that keeps failing. It's still failing, I had to stop for the night.
I think my haunt is as good or better than last year but the high cost of starting up has to start being offset by income or I can't add more or change a lot next year. (even though we've had good attendance, it hasn't touched start up costs yet)
I fell last October on the stairs racing to get to one of my scene's to get it finished and injured my shoulder, I can't do as much this year as I did last year.
Etc, etc etc. It's everything, everyone has said it is.
I haven't lost my passion but the bloom is off the rose, just a little bit.
And on the other side of things, with all due respect, one person might think the haunt isn't up to par and the next person will say it was 100% better than last year. We all have to weigh out the critiques and comments and then come to a conclusion about what needs changing and what doesn't.
It is quite possible this particular haunt owner gave it everything and it just didn't click. It happens to everyone, what looked great on paper, didn't play well to the public.
Now I'm done, I'm tired...:)
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