Gary: I’m Gary Sharman. I own Coffin Creek and this year was our best year ever, probably by 20%. A lot of new people that have never been there before. And we’re already planning what we’re changing for next year, we’ve got some new surprises coming, and we’re gonna do some make-overs on the existing attractions and possibly even adding a new attraction.
What Was The Most Surprising Thing About 2021?
Gary: Getting actors. That was our biggest challenge this year, trying to get enough staff. But, we managed to pull it off. We made sure that 90% of the customers were happy, had a great time, and the overall experience for most people, they really loved it.
2021’s Biggest Challenge for Coffin Creek
Gary: Because of the factor on federal land, and the property is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, our normal place that we have our trail is now a mitigation area, so we weren’t allowed to use it. So, we had to totally create a whole new trail in 30 days. The trail has always been so popular because it’s actually in the woods, this is nothing fake about it. So, we had to take an area that basically had very few trees and create something out of nothing. And so it was really nice that it was received well and people loved it. That was probably our biggest challenge this year, with that short timeframe. If we would’ve had a another month or so, you know, it would have been a much easier. So trying to cram that all in a 30-day period from design to execution.
What Will Coffin Creek Be Doing Differently Or Adjusting?
Gary: We’ll definitely start staffing earlier, just in case, you know? Riverside didn’t have as many COVID restrictions as other places, which made a lot of people happy.
Philip: Now that you have the new trail built, is that something that you’re gonna be expanding?
Gary: Were going to change the design of it and expand it more, we already started putting in some permanent fixtures in that area. We also are going to work a little harder on our concessionaires that do the food, because they don’t want to be there on the slow nights, you know? They want to cherry pick the days they work, you know? So, we’re actually already figuring out how to remedy that problem.
Gary Explains What He Thinks Next Year’s Biggest Challenge Will Be
Gary: There’s this, next year will be our 15th year. I think the biggest issue is keeping the attendance up, because a lot of people were just starved for something to do, they were just wanting to do something, anything. So, I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge to keep the numbers the same.
Philip: I feel like keeping those new customers that you got this year, keeping them returning.
Gary: Keeping them coming back, the people. Keeping them returning, you know? Like I say, we have a lot of people that have been coming for years and years and years, and it’s like their must go to place to go. So, it’s going to be to keep those people engaged and coming back for next year.