Haunt Start-Up Class 101:

By Leonard Pickel
Hauntrepreneurs(R) Haunt
Design and Consulting
www.hauntrepreneurs.com
972-95...
"Owing a haunt means you only have
to work one month out of the year."
"Owing a haunt means you only have
to work one month out of the year."
Haunting is a year round
part time job, and 2-3
mon...
"You have a lot of cool props and high
levels of detail to be successful."
"You have a lot of cool props and high
levels of detail to be successful."
The most important
single factor to a
successfu...
"Animatronics are scarier than actors."
"Animatronics are scarier than actors."
Live actors are what
makes a fright attraction
unpredictably scary!
"If you build a really scary high detail
haunt you don't need to advertise
much."
"If you build a really scary high detail
haunt you don't need to advertise
much."
It doesn't matter how
cool your haunt is...
"A Haunt can be successful using
Gorilla Marketing and Fliers."
"A Haunt can be successful using
Gorilla Marketing and Fliers."
Unless your business
plan says you can get
rich with 3,000...
“A haunted house makes a profit in
the first season."
“A haunted house makes a profit in
the first season."
Haunting is a business,
and like any other
business it takes 3-5
yea...
"Most haunted house are profitable."
"Most haunted house are profitable."
Most attraction owners
would make more per
hour at McDonalds!
"You can't afford to hire a consultant
your first year."
"You can't afford to hire a consultant
your first year."
You can't afford NOT to
hire someone who knows
how to get you whe...
"Owning a haunted house is more fun
than doing a home haunt."
"Owning a haunted house is more fun
than doing a home haunt."
When you must make a
profit to pay your bills,
the "fun" dis...
" If I have a great business plan, a
bank will loan me money to start my
haunt."
" If I have a great business plan, a
bank will loan me money to start my
haunt."
No bank is going to loan
you money unless...
"My Fire Marshals is the Strictest in the
Country "
"My Fire Marshals is the Strictest in the
Country "
The Codes are the Same
in every State, with very
few exceptions!
“They Keep Changing the Codes"
“They Keep Changing the Codes"
Building and Fire Codes
have been the same since
the 1980’s. It is the
enforcement that is
...
 Haunting is a business like any other and what

is the only goal of business?
 Haunting is a business like any other and what

is the only goal of business?
 Haunting is not a get rich quick scheme!

60% of all businesses fail in the first 3 years
 Haunting is not a get rich quick scheme!

60% of all businesses fail in the first 3 years

Lack of Advertising
Lack of C...
 It takes 3-5 years for most businesses to

break even.
 It takes 3-5 years for most businesses to

break even.
 You need 3 years worth of funding before you
begin,
"It's just a haunted house…
how hard could it be?"
How Hard Could it Be?
Dealing with actors
Dealing with the public
Dealing with
manufacturers
Dealing with city officials
D...
Today's Haunted Attraction Owner Must Be An:
Expert Marketer
Expert Film Maker
Social Media Expert
Pneumatics Expert
Crowd...
 Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail!

Business plan
Detailed Budget
Marketing plan
expansion plan
What's not...
 Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail!

Business plan
Detailed Budget
Marketing plan
expansion plan
What's not...
Would you bet tens of thousands of
dollars on a game of chance without
knowing the rules?
How would you know when to raise...
Know the rules before you play the game!!

(Did you know there was a
Haunted House Rule Book?)
The Haunting Rulebook
IBC - International Building Code
Life Safety 101
If you don't follow all the rules in these
books, ...
Assembly Occupancy
Exiting Requirements
- How many, where and how big.
Flame Resistance Requirements
Corridor width requir...
Electrical Codes
- No Extension Cords,
- Emergency Lighting
- Lighted Exit Signs
- Battery Back Up
- UL Listed Equipment
ADA Requirements
Ramps
Turning Radiuses
Vertical Access
Door Width Requirements
Handicap Parking Requirements
Handicap Toi...
Special Amusement Building
Mandatory Fire suppression
Mandatory wired Smoke Alarm
Horn strobes and Evacuation Message
Stop...
THE hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle:
1) Finding

a good consultant!
THE hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle:
1) Finding A Great

Location

- Stay away from interior malls
- Find a creepy b...
THE Hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle:
2)

Finding Funding
- GOOD LUCK!
THE Hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle:
3) Finding Affordable

- Volunteers vs. employees
- Contract labor

Staff
THE Hardest Thing to Spend Money On:

Advertising!
THE most important thing to spend your
time and money on:

Advertising!
The BIGGEST Mistakes You Can Make In Opening A
Haunted Attraction:
Spending more money on the show than on the advertising...
The “Truth” is Haunting is Hard!
If it Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It
Successfully!
Leonard Pickel
972-951-5100
Hauntrepreneurs(R) Haunt Design and Consulting
hauntrepreneurs@gmail.com
www.hauntrepreneurs.c...
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The Truth About Owning Your First Halloween Event, By Leonard Pickel

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"The Truth About Owning Your First Haunted Attraction with Leonard Pickel"

Watch & listen to Leonard Pickel discuss the reality behind owning your first Haunted Attraction. This fisr in a series online class is for those who want to know more about starting up your own Haunted Attraction business or have been an owner for years and want to learn the principle goals for taking your Haunted Event to the next level. Leonard discusses what it is going to take to turn your dreams into a reality.
Our payment structure has changed to $20 per class. This is class 1 of 9 in this series. This event will be held on February 6th at 9:00pm CST. All you need is a computer. Hope to see you there!
"There is nothing better on God's green earth than scaring the living shit out of people!" Steven King

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Transcript of "The Truth About Owning Your First Halloween Event, By Leonard Pickel"

  1. 1. Haunt Start-Up Class 101: By Leonard Pickel Hauntrepreneurs(R) Haunt Design and Consulting www.hauntrepreneurs.com 972-951-5100 hauntrepreneurs@gmail.com
  2. 2. "Owing a haunt means you only have to work one month out of the year."
  3. 3. "Owing a haunt means you only have to work one month out of the year." Haunting is a year round part time job, and 2-3 month overtime job!
  4. 4. "You have a lot of cool props and high levels of detail to be successful."
  5. 5. "You have a lot of cool props and high levels of detail to be successful." The most important single factor to a successful event, is the marketing.
  6. 6. "Animatronics are scarier than actors."
  7. 7. "Animatronics are scarier than actors." Live actors are what makes a fright attraction unpredictably scary!
  8. 8. "If you build a really scary high detail haunt you don't need to advertise much."
  9. 9. "If you build a really scary high detail haunt you don't need to advertise much." It doesn't matter how cool your haunt is, if no one knows about it, that’s who’s coming.
  10. 10. "A Haunt can be successful using Gorilla Marketing and Fliers."
  11. 11. "A Haunt can be successful using Gorilla Marketing and Fliers." Unless your business plan says you can get rich with 3,000 or 4,000 attendees.
  12. 12. “A haunted house makes a profit in the first season."
  13. 13. “A haunted house makes a profit in the first season." Haunting is a business, and like any other business it takes 3-5 years to break even!
  14. 14. "Most haunted house are profitable."
  15. 15. "Most haunted house are profitable." Most attraction owners would make more per hour at McDonalds!
  16. 16. "You can't afford to hire a consultant your first year."
  17. 17. "You can't afford to hire a consultant your first year." You can't afford NOT to hire someone who knows how to get you where you're going.
  18. 18. "Owning a haunted house is more fun than doing a home haunt."
  19. 19. "Owning a haunted house is more fun than doing a home haunt." When you must make a profit to pay your bills, the "fun" dissipates quickly.
  20. 20. " If I have a great business plan, a bank will loan me money to start my haunt."
  21. 21. " If I have a great business plan, a bank will loan me money to start my haunt." No bank is going to loan you money unless you have collateral.
  22. 22. "My Fire Marshals is the Strictest in the Country "
  23. 23. "My Fire Marshals is the Strictest in the Country " The Codes are the Same in every State, with very few exceptions!
  24. 24. “They Keep Changing the Codes"
  25. 25. “They Keep Changing the Codes" Building and Fire Codes have been the same since the 1980’s. It is the enforcement that is different.
  26. 26.  Haunting is a business like any other and what is the only goal of business?
  27. 27.  Haunting is a business like any other and what is the only goal of business?
  28. 28.  Haunting is not a get rich quick scheme! 60% of all businesses fail in the first 3 years
  29. 29.  Haunting is not a get rich quick scheme! 60% of all businesses fail in the first 3 years Lack of Advertising Lack of Capital Lack of Experience
  30. 30.  It takes 3-5 years for most businesses to break even.
  31. 31.  It takes 3-5 years for most businesses to break even.  You need 3 years worth of funding before you begin,
  32. 32. "It's just a haunted house… how hard could it be?"
  33. 33. How Hard Could it Be? Dealing with actors Dealing with the public Dealing with manufacturers Dealing with city officials Dealing with web designers Dealing with graphics people Dealing with video people Dealing with an accountant Dealing with landlords Dealing with the unexpected Hopefully Dealing with large sums of cash
  34. 34. Today's Haunted Attraction Owner Must Be An: Expert Marketer Expert Film Maker Social Media Expert Pneumatics Expert Crowd Control Expert Entrepreneur Writer Designer Fright Master Set Builder Makeup artist Costumer If this was easy... everyone would be doing it!
  35. 35.  Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail! Business plan Detailed Budget Marketing plan expansion plan What's not working
  36. 36.  Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail! Business plan Detailed Budget Marketing plan expansion plan What's not working REMEMBER!!!
  37. 37. Would you bet tens of thousands of dollars on a game of chance without knowing the rules? How would you know when to raise? How would you know when not to bet? How would you know if you were cheated? How would you know if you won?
  38. 38. Know the rules before you play the game!! (Did you know there was a Haunted House Rule Book?)
  39. 39. The Haunting Rulebook IBC - International Building Code Life Safety 101 If you don't follow all the rules in these books, how can you win the game? $100 Each Amazon.com
  40. 40. Assembly Occupancy Exiting Requirements - How many, where and how big. Flame Resistance Requirements Corridor width requirements Corridor length restrictions Parking Requirements Toilet Requirements
  41. 41. Electrical Codes - No Extension Cords, - Emergency Lighting - Lighted Exit Signs - Battery Back Up - UL Listed Equipment
  42. 42. ADA Requirements Ramps Turning Radiuses Vertical Access Door Width Requirements Handicap Parking Requirements Handicap Toilet Requirements
  43. 43. Special Amusement Building Mandatory Fire suppression Mandatory wired Smoke Alarm Horn strobes and Evacuation Message Stop All Confusing Lights and Sound
  44. 44. THE hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle: 1) Finding a good consultant!
  45. 45. THE hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle: 1) Finding A Great Location - Stay away from interior malls - Find a creepy building to buy!
  46. 46. THE Hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle: 2) Finding Funding - GOOD LUCK!
  47. 47. THE Hardest Pieces in the Haunting Puzzle: 3) Finding Affordable - Volunteers vs. employees - Contract labor Staff
  48. 48. THE Hardest Thing to Spend Money On: Advertising!
  49. 49. THE most important thing to spend your time and money on: Advertising!
  50. 50. The BIGGEST Mistakes You Can Make In Opening A Haunted Attraction: Spending more money on the show than on the advertising. Not having enough money to carry the event until it is profitable. Designing an attraction that cannot handle high capacity. A business plan that is not formed to create “Obscene Profits.”
  51. 51. The “Truth” is Haunting is Hard! If it Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It Successfully!
  52. 52. Leonard Pickel 972-951-5100 Hauntrepreneurs(R) Haunt Design and Consulting hauntrepreneurs@gmail.com www.hauntrepreneurs.com www.hauntcon.com www.findahaunt.com Keep up to date with Leonard on: www.facebook.com/LeonardBricePickel www.twitter.com/leonardpickel www.youtube.com/leonardpickel www.flickr.com/photos/leonardpickel

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