I just came across a post on Fast Company’s blog about theme parks embracing the Halloween season ("Halloween Be Thy Game"). This caused me to think about the business of Halloween, and not just the holiday aisle in the grocery stores or Target — more along the lines of the specialty Halloween stores and haunted houses.
The two big theme parks in the area, Paramount’s Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens, each have converted to their Halloween-themed set-up.
Now, I haven’t dealt with any Halloween retailers or groups that operate haunted houses, but these are both business ideas with a very limited lifespan. They go through a great deal of expense to set up shop, and then break down after a short period of time.
Holiday retailers and haunted houses can fill some unused capacity, even if just for a short time. The catch is that there is an opportunity cost for the landlords in tying up their space for an extremely short-term tenant, during a time when a retailer could still set up and be ready for the Christmas rush. Of course, a premium can be charged to the short term tenant for the priviledge of a short lease.
For now, enjoy the season! Here are some links to different things going on in the area:
(EDIT 12/1/06: updated link to HauntedHouse.com)