It's the weekend before Halloween, and businesses are gearing up for consumer's first stop of the holiday season. It can mean big money, but times are still tough. We went out amongst the ghosts and ghouls at local businesses to see if this year is full tricks or treats.
The halloween cash crop. "It's been a great year, our sales are up 10% over last year and last year was a record year," says
Spirit Store Manager Mark Goodman.
He continues that each year is getting better. "I'm almost sold out of all my anamatronics, which are the big 100-200 dollar items."
He's even doubled his employee numbers since the store started coming to the Rogue Valley in 2006.
Local costume shop, Magic Man says it's also doing well. "It's the way we make our big money for the year," comments Custoemr Service Representative Greg Bettes.
According to the National Retail Federation consumers will spend $8 billion dollars on Halloween this year. Each person spending $79.82, up from $72.31 in 2011.
"I'm spending a little bit more this year," customer Ira Christan tells us. "I'm usually a little bit more ingenious, do a little more shopping, like at thrift stores and stuff."
While we're crunching the numbers why not take a bite into candy sales. It's estimated American's will spend 2.3 billion dollars on the sweet stuff alone.
"The last two or three days is when we sell 40% of our merchandise," Food 4 Less employee Jared Mulholland states.
Halloween also rakes in the dough for pumpkin harvesters, at $113 million for those jack-o-lanters and pumpkin pies. Also, it brings in thecash for even pet costumes.
But it's not all treats. Businesses say sales before the recession were even stronger.
"Ya it's killing," remarks Bettes. "The years before that were way busier."
Still, 2012 looks to be a bank builder for some."We're running really good sales," says Goodman.
Spirit management saying this year people are really getting into their Halloween spirit.
There are many events happening this weekend as people get ready for Halloween next Wednesday:
1.The Ashland Monster Dash Run starts tonight with registration and a dinner. Tomorrow participants race in full costume....some of the proceeds benefit the Ashland Schools Foundation and YES, Youth Education Success. For more information you can visit their website at www.ashlandmonsterdash.com.
2. Just Scream Haunted House for Salvation Army. Where: 711 E. Main St., Medford, OR 97501 When: Friday October 26th and Saturday October 27th. 7:30-10 pm. Admission: bring 2 canned food items.
3.Wine & Halloween Candy Pairing at Troon Vineyard. Where: Troon Vineyard 1475 Kubli Rd., Grants Pass, OR. When: Saturday October 27, 11 am - 5 pm. Cost: $6
4. Darkwing Manor & Morguetorium Museum. Where: 4192 Coleman Creek Rd., Medford, OR. Details at www.darkwingmanor.com
5. Halloween Haunted House at Gold Hill Museum. Where: 504 First Ave. Gold Hill, OR When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday October 26-28, 6-9 pm. Admission: $3 ages 6-12. $4 ages 13+.
6. Circus of Screams Haunted House. Where: 9512 Hwy 62, Eagle Point, OR. Details at www.circusofscreams.net