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Author Topic: Full-Time Renn Park??  (Read 3995 times)

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Offline Anomalous44

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2013, 02:52:31 PM »
There was a thread about exactly this subject started by someone else a couple of years ago, who wasn't a regular to these boards, and who didn't come here to participate... but also wanted to gauge interest in his venture, and to find people willing to commit to signing binding vending leases in order to convince his potential backers to invest.  He faded away, though, and nothing ever came of his idea, even though he made it sound like it was almost to the building stage, with plans, layouts, blueprints and such.  It's been talked about several times, by lots of people... and there is always interest... but so far no one has done anything more than talk.  There are, however, a great many people here who would likely flock to such a place, either as vendors, entertainers or patrons... if it were to ever come into existence.  I would probably even lead the pack.  :)

Thank you, this is very useful information. I am very new here so it is nice to hear some history on this topic. Binding contracts bwah ha! That just will not do.

Offline Anomalous44

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2013, 03:12:22 PM »
Thank you Polly and Rowen! This is meant to create an interest list and knowing the history of a topic like this is very helpful. Sustainability is imperative for a venture like this and keeping vendors happy is the only way it will work. Although I am hesitant to think about all of the modern technology and conveniences required to make this a successful "business" I am quickly realizing that it is unavoidable. Unfortunately, this increases the start up cost tremendously requiring major underground construction for plumbing, electric and communication. I will be attending a festival next month for the first time with an overnight pass. I will take your advise and have some discussions with organizers of this event. I haven't heard any feedback from craftsmen on this thread yet. I know that I have seen some at the festivals who give demonstrations. Are there any craftsmen who would be interested in having a working shoppe where they could teach their craft?

Offline dbaldock

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2013, 01:35:07 AM »
As an Electronics Engineering Technician, I tend to look at the details of _how_ an item or project works.

If you're planning this as a self-sustaining / profit making business, then your business plan will need to include the expenses:
1. Property payments
2. Property, Income, & Payroll Tax payments
3. Insurance payments for property, liability, and company owned vehicles
4. Business, Restaurant, Bar, & Hotel Licenses or Permits
5. Business, Restaurant, Bar, & Hotel supplies
6. Employee Payroll payments
7. Building and Road construction & maintenance costs
8. Utility payments
9. Advertising & Marketing costs - Print, Radio, TV, & Internet


Then you need to determine how many visitors are needed (spending an average amount) on a daily / weekly / monthly basis in order to cover all of the expenses listed above - and buying the products from your vendors who are "private contractors".  Along with that, you need to know how much nearby parking, hotels, camping, grocery, & restaurants would be required to adequately serve that number of visitors - as well as the people in your park.  Another thing to consider is Daycare & Schools (either licensing and running your own, or ones available in nearby communities) for the children in your park.

Location is a bit tricky - when you consider the cost of gasoline in California, you don't want to be located too far from large population centers or airports that visitors would come from.  If you're too close, land & tax rate are high - but if you're in the middle of nowhere, your insurance rates can be high since you're not close to medical or firefighting services.  Also, remote areas don't have easy access to the hotels, camping, grocery, restaurants, daycare, and schools.


Sounds like quite a challenge, but I hope you can work out the details to get a Medieval or Renaissance Park operating.

By-the-way - The Texas Renaissance Festival is the largest "Hard" (permanent structure) Ren Faire in the USA, with ~55 acres of New Market Village "inside the fence", and several hundred acres of parking, camping, and utility space.  There are some "Soft" (temporary tent structure) Ren Faires staged in city or state parks that have more total acreage than TRF, but the actual "inside the fence" part is smaller.  TRF is near Houston (Wikipedia: "Houston is the fourth-largest city in the U.S. with 2.1 million population, and the economic center of Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with over 6 million people."), and has been operating since 1974.  Currently, it's open 8-weekends per year during October & November, with the weekend attendance last year ranging from 40,000 - 92,000 and 127,000 for the 3-day weekend after Thanksgiving (http://trfbeefeaters.com/attendance-statistics).  It has those large crowds probably because people know it's there, and that it's only open for those 2 months of weekends.  If it were open year-round, the weekend averages would probably drop, since there wouldn't be the urgency caused by a limited 2-month run.


Take Care,
David Baldock
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people... -anonymous

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2013, 08:21:13 AM »
Thank you Polly and Rowen! This is meant to create an interest list and knowing the history of a topic like this is very helpful. ...

Anamalous44 - Would you clarify exactly what an "interest list" is that you have mentioned a couple times.  The topic of a wholly created full-time renaissance or medieval faire or resort encompasses many varied aspects.  A renaissance-era operating "planned community" would be an entirely different area of interest.

Are you looking for people who would be interested in being:

Paying customer at a renfaire? 
Paying customer at a themed resort with modern facilities? 
Paying customer at a themed resort without modern facilities?
Full-time paid employees? 
Independent contract vendors? 
Run-of-the-faire part-time employees? 
Full-time Entertainers?
Traveling Entertainers? 
Unpaid volunteers to work?
Unpaid and unpaying volunteers who would live full-time while dressed in period clothing? 
People who would pay to live full-time while dressed in period clothing? 

You might get better response if you were more specific as to what kind of feedback you are looking for.  Then you might be directed to more appropriate forum topics.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 09:04:56 AM by PollyPoPo »
Polly PoPo
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Offline Merlin the Elder

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2013, 09:12:49 AM »
For some—maybe all—of the reasons previously stated, the embark on such a venture would require very deep pockets. It's a fun idea, but it may not be realistic.  Many of the folks who are playtrons (patrons who immerse themselves in the faire) have quite limited budgets. The faire is their annual vacation, and they save their pence throughout the year in order to attend.

For a major site as you describe, you may find state health codes REQUIRE permanent plumbing. For insurance purposes, you may be REQUIRED to have communications to emergency services.

Sure, things would be fun for a while, but there a real drawbacks. As recent as 2 years ago, there was a project in the Ozarks in which a castle was being built using tools and techniques of the 15-16th century.  Not long into the project, OSHA came in and required the quarrying of stone to be done using modern and more safe methods. There were some folks living on site, I believe, and it was a fascinating undertaking.  After about 3 years, it found itself to be unsustainable. It is now closed as they look for more money.

No one it trying to give up the dream, but you need to be aware of the drawbacks to your initial proposal.

I would LOVE to have a faire which had a hotel on-site, built to LOOK era from the outside, but have the conveniences on the inside. But, I'm old and need the comfort.
Living life in the slow lane
ROoL #116; the Jack of Daniels; AARP #7; SS# 000-00-0013
I've upped my standards. Now, up yours.
...and may all your babies be born naked...

Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2013, 09:48:22 AM »
Another comparative may be Civil war reenactments.  They only usually last 3 days but the historical policies are probably the closest to what you are looking for.  Even then, they are still required to have port-o-potties, clean water, medical services, etc.  A lot of work goes in to a single event and you have to have the reenactors (who own the tents, equipment, etc) willing to participate.  It's a lot of fun but 3 days is about all I can handle without a shower, flush toilet, running water...  ;D
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
midsouthrenfaire.com

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2013, 09:49:46 AM »
I'm with Merlin on the "LOOK" era, but still have running water and flush plumbing.  We also have to keep in mind that periodically cleaned port-a-potties are a modern invention.  As one who remembers real outhouses, more than a couple people using a two-holer gets pretty bad after a chili supper. :o

Polly PoPo
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Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2013, 10:11:24 AM »
Another comparative may be Civil war reenactments.  ...

I have a question, Dinobabe.  Do the reenactors pay to participate in those events?  Or is it subsidized someone? 

Just wondering.
Polly PoPo
(aka Grannie)

Offline Anomalous44

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2013, 10:32:40 AM »
Polly asked a great question, "what kind of interest list?". To clarify, in this forum, I am looking for paid, full-time, live in the community actors/entertainers/farm workers/craftsmen etc. as well as independent contractor vendors that might be interested in longer term vending opportunities (several weeks and beyond). After all of the feedback I'm getting, it seems as if this idea might be more challenging than I first thought. I may look into the option of a "themed campground" and let it grow from there. I did locate a piece of property in the mid-west that has an unrelated large event annually for one week, within an hours drive so there are plenty of amenities nearby.

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2013, 10:56:25 AM »
Polly asked a great question, "what kind of interest list?". ....

As a start, I suggest you read through the various forums here, including Merchant News, Performer Topics, Sewing (subtopics about providers of garb), Market Square, Ye Olde Classifieds.  That might give you an idea of where to be place your query.

Outside of these forums, start with Google or Bing or Ask or whatever you choose and query for those people you are looking for.  You might happen up some organizations catering to renfaire actors, vendors, etc. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 11:12:29 AM by PollyPoPo »
Polly PoPo
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Offline Capt Spleen

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2013, 11:14:00 AM »
Dbaldock- WOW! I wonder what a breakdown service such as that would be worth to many start up businesses?
Well done, Sir!

Anomalous44 - Look what Walt Disney did with swamp land in Florida.
Because of his endeavor, Airports and hotels, and restaurants were built up around it - Disney World.

But then he already had start up capital per his animations company.

He also made surrounding theme parks: Maybe you could think in terms of.........a

- Pirates realm
- Fairie realm
- Childrens fantasy realm
- Castle realm
- History realm (educational, such as Epcot)
- A coaster park (with rides)
- Haunted Knights realm
- Elvin realm
- Etc
 Yes and Disney like would be - CLEAN and inviting. Period looking on the outside, but very modern inside infrastructure.

Maybe even look into getting backing from Disney?

Cheers!

Offline Dinobabe

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2013, 11:26:56 AM »
Another comparative may be Civil war reenactments.  ...

I have a question, Dinobabe.  Do the reenactors pay to participate in those events?  Or is it subsidized someone? 

Just wondering.

We pay for all of our equipment (which is expensive because it must be authentic) as well as pay to participate in most reenactments.  We also pay dues to our reenacting group and not to mention our own travel costs per event.  Some reenactments charge a fee for spectators because they use the money as a fundraiser for the cost of the event and sometimes a historical society or for park land.  The organizers are often volunteers and come from within the reenacting community.  It sometimes takes years to plan a big event! :P
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
midsouthrenfaire.com

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2013, 11:36:53 AM »
Dinobabe, thanks for answer.  It is pretty much what I thought - gotta be committed to put in that time, money and effort. 
Polly PoPo
(aka Grannie)

Offline PollyPoPo

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2013, 11:54:15 AM »
What Capt Spleen said.

Also, Disney had already opened Disneyland and had expertise, reputation, and name-recognition that few could rival today. 
Polly PoPo
(aka Grannie)

Offline dbaldock

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Re: Full-Time Renn Park??
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2013, 12:35:28 PM »
Dbaldock- WOW! I wonder what a breakdown service such as that would be worth to many start up businesses?
Well done, Sir!
...
Cheers!

Thanks.

While I'm actually more of a romantic or idealist, I'm afraid my rather pragmatic, detail-oriented approach to big projects is sometimes looked on as being pessimistic or "doom & gloom".

Take Care,
David Baldock
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people... -anonymous

 

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