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Haunted houses band together to lobby for virus relief
By THEODORIC MEYER 08/21/2020 02:37 PM EDT
ANNALS OF HALLOWEEN LOBBYING: A coalition of haunted house operators has hired Hogan Lovells to convince Congress to change the Paycheck Protection Program so their industry can take advantage of it. The Alliance for Interactive, Seasonal, and Location-based Entertainment sent letters to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and more than two dozen other lawmakers making the case that the “industry has been unable to benefit from PPP in any meaningful way” and asking for changes.
— The Paycheck Protection Program’s rules allow seasonal employers the option to use any 12-week period between May 1, 2019, and Sept. 15, 2019, when determining the maximum loan amounts for which they’re eligible. That’s a problem for haunted houses because their business doesn’t pick up until the fall. “I don’t know if folks imagined that the Covid crisis would extend this long” when the rules were written, said Aaron Cutler, one of the lobbyists representing the coalition. The lobbyists are pushing to get the changes included in any extension of the loan program and might expand the effort to include holiday-season businesses as well.
Drive-thru haunted houses are helping Halloween traditions stay alive in 2020
With the summer winding down and the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, it’s starting to look like Halloween activities and celebrations will have to be put on hold, or at least severely altered, to keep people safe. However, a new trend has emerged ahead of this year’s spooky season, and it involves taking the haunted house concept and adding cars.
Drive-thru haunted houses have started popping up not just across the country, but across the world. While this year isn’t the first time that this type of attraction has existed, it’s certainly surging in popularity due to the ability to offer scares while also maintaining proper social distance.
Orlando will see its first contactless, drive-thru Halloween experience open up this year, Orlando Weekly reports. This attraction, called the Haunted Road, reportedly tells a theatrical story through various drive-thru scenes that feature scary creatures and various other spooky concepts.
SIX FLAGS HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS TO FEATURE ‘SCAREACTORS’ WILL FRIGHTEN GUESTS FROM 6 FEET AWAY
The event will also reportedly host a family-friendly version presented during daytime hours
“Imagine your car pulling up into a dark alley, turning off your engine and being just completely powerless as you’re surrounded by creatures,” Atilio Jamerson, entertainment director for Urban Legends of Southern California, said during a recent interview with the Orange County Register, when discussing the company’s drive-thru experience coming to Costa Mesa in California this year.
“As far as the actors go, it will be a lot more fun for them because they will have more freedom in the choices they make with their movements,” he continued, “and it’s an opportunity to learn new ways to scare that aren’t just popping into your face. We’ll incorporate props, lighting, music and it’s just a way for us to get really creative and do things we’ve never done before.”
Hiker believes he might have found evidence of Bigfoot
LOGAN, Utah — While Matthew Wentz is a believer, he does have some skepticism about what he came across last month in the Bear River Range — a large footprint he thinks could have been made by a Sasquatch.
Wentz is an avid outdoors person. He hikes, hunts and fly fishes often. In fact, he tries to get out in the mountains around Cache Valley two to three times a week.
The 34-year-old valley native has had some interesting experiences in the wild. Another occurred on June 5 in the Mount Naomi Wilderness. He posted about it on a Facebook page called Cache Valley is Beautiful in early July and has had many responses, mostly positive.
“Most people think Sasquatch or Bigfoot is a joke,” Wentz said in a recent interview with The Herald Journal. “I have multiple friends that are older than me that have seen stuff around here. They are credible but don’t really talk about it. You know someone that has seen something and it scares them, they don’t really want to talk about it or be ridiculed. A lot of people don’t realize something like this could exist.”
Yes, Wentz does believe in Bigfoot or Sasquatch — the hairy, upright-walking, ape-like creature that dwells in the wilderness. No, he did not see one of these creatures on June 5.
However, the Logan resident did come across an impression that is hard to explain. He only found one print and took a photo of it. While he believes in Bigfoot and wants to think this is a footprint of one, Wentz admits to not being 100 percent sure about what he found.
“I’m definitely skeptical of stuff like this,” Wentz said. “I really believe there is some tall being out there but have no idea what it is. It’s hard to believe they (large Bigfoot-like creatures) would be around here because there are so many people and more going into the mountains these days compared to 30 or 40 years ago. People used to see stuff all the time.
“… A lot of people can’t comprehend it and don’t even want to acknowledge it. I’ve lived here my whole life and gotten out a lot, so I realize the possibilities of potential animals living in places you wouldn’t expect them. There is a lot of room in the mountains. When you go out during the day, you usually don’t see a lot of animals and they are usually pretty shy. A lot of them are nocturnal.”
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