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Choo Choo!

Discussion in 'The Business of Clowning' started by V, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. V

    V Well-Known Member

    I'm considering buying a "mall train," which is essentially a modified golf cart with wagons to look like a passenger train. It's trackless so could double as parade, party, & festival duty. Just wondering if anyone owns or has experience with them for insight.
  2. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    No experience, but I know that special care needs to be done for motors that aren't used very often. Gas, batteries, and belts/hoses can have issues when not being used frequently.
  3. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    All I'll say is that they sure seem to do good business, whenever I see them used.
  4. V

    V Well-Known Member

    Hopefully it doesn't fall into the category of not being used very often. Intention would be a daily driver via a pay-to-ride mall attraction. Ideally it'd be over use instead of under use maintenance. There's one at a relatively close mall that seems to do pretty well, especially weekends (obviously). I was there with balloons for Santa's arrival Saturday and it was running non-stop basically. I'd say a few hundred riders (@ $3/each). If you could pull $1k every Saturday and half that Saturday - even marginal ridership during the week seems profitable. I obviously don't know numbers, but it has to be a $45k annual business at least (population of town is 220k) and I imagine you could even do well enough in a smaller market.
  5. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I didn't realize you were actually planning to use it at a mall, I thought that was just how you were calling it so we knew what you were talking about. In that case, you would need to have 2 or 3 trains so that there would still be one at the mall when you needed another for a parade or party.

    I am not sure a mall would let you operate a business like that without paying they rent/profit sharing. Locally, most of the trains I have seen are run by or at least sponsored by Chick-Fil-A. I find it funny that the trains run on Sunday when Chick-Fil-A is closed.

    Usually, the way to make money with a business is by starting with lots of money and getting enough volume. Running a dozen trains in multiple locations would be cheaper than one train at one location. You would have one mechanic on staff that maintains all of the trains.

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