Auckland 'scream park' Spookers, owned and directed by family members Andy, Beth and Julia Watson, has set a $200,000 target on Kickstarter to raise funds to expand into Australia.
The business started 14 years ago and the family says the business model for the Kiwi attraction can be replicated in other markets. But it's eyeing five or six Australian sites because of populations restrictions in New Zealand.
It says it has found an ideal first location in Brisbane after two years of searching.
"The ability to spread the word quickly online to a lot of people and keep them updated on the status of the project is invaluable," Beth says about the value of Kickstarter, adding 24 percent of Spookers' visitors are from overseas and the crowdfunding platform has global reach. Nine percent of its visitors are from Australia.
The venture also has a 41,000-strong Facebook community and thousands of other who receive its newsletters and follow it on Twitter.
The business began running 'haunted attractions' in 2000 and opened in the former Kingseat Psychiatric hospital in 2005. It's since added business studies programmes for senior school students and medical moulage work (casting of mock injuries for training) for the Defence Force.
In Australia it plans to open two nights a week with R16 attractions, as well as Halloween, leaving the potential to open more nights a week as demand develops.
There are additional nights for special events like Murder Mysteries, Creepers and Pitch Black Panic Attack. It will also open Saturday and Sunday and every day of the school holidays for R8 family attractions.
If the campaign is successful the family expects to open in Australia within a year.
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