By Shawn Chitnis
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Customers waiting in line for hours to enter the Haunted Field of Screams last weekend say they were told they would not get in before the park closed, but the owners responded Friday trying to clarify their policy.
“We got in line, it was moving a little bit towards the beginning and then we just stopped,” said Laura Brenner, a customer who visited the corn maze on Oct. 20. “Looked down and it was two and half hours later.”
Brenner had never been to a haunted attraction before but was recommend to try the one in Thornton. So, she purchased tickets online and went with a groups of friends. When her group was still far from entering one of the corn maze experiences she asked a security guard about the situation.
“All I can say is I encourage you is upgrade your ticket,” is what Brenner was told. “I felt like he had just been really rude toward us so I wasn’t a big fan of that and I had already paid 90 bucks for us to go in.”
The cost of a general admission ticket is $45 after tax. She says other people in front of her were leaving so she felt there wasn’t any reason to stay herself.
“There was this sense of defeat, we had waited in line for so long,” said Brenner.
The corn maze is a family run operation that has been in business for 18 years. The owners told CBS4 they sell tickets to customers with the understanding that if they don’t experience all four corn mazes in one night, they can come back on another night without any additional cost.
They also promise that anyone in line when they close at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday or midnight on Friday and Saturday will get through that corn maze.
“Everyone standing in a haunted attraction line will get to go in,” said Joe Palombo, general manager and co-owner. “Nobody likes to wait in line including me, I understand their confusion.”
Several customers wrote reviews on the business’s Facebook page explaining the long wait and that they left without entering one of the corn mazes. Palombo says that they see more customers coming out two weeks before Halloween than any other weekend.
“Saturday, Oct. 20 was our busiest night of the year, we had crowds we humbly did not expect,” he said.
Customers can pay more money for a VIP line or Instant Access, which is a shorter line or the front of the line, respectively. But Brenner says she felt like the general admission line was not accommodated at all that night.
“We were completely ignored in the general admission line,” she said. “They were only catering to those in the Instant Access line.”
She acknowledged the price is fair for what they offer and a wait of one to two hours is expected on a Saturday night. But for the price she paid, she believed she should have seen one of the corn mazes given the amount of time she spent in line.
“Standing in line for an hour, two hours, we were actually excited to go in,” she said.
Palombo says customers should try coming on Thursday or Sunday nights if they want shorter lines. He has also tried replying to all of the negative comments on Facebook.
“Every customer is important to us,” said Palombo. “We do keep our general admission lines moving but they are definitely longer than our VIP and Instant Access lines.”
LINK: Haunted Field of Screams