Petitioning Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and 8 others

Save the Grave!

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The Shallow Grave (Click here to visit website), a haunted attraction, opened it's doors only a few years ago in Winter Haven, FL. Since then, they have gained NATIONAL attention as being one of the country's leading haunted attractions, winning many awards and "Best Of" lists.

Massive changes have been made every year drastically changing the haunt making it exciting for repeat customers. Changes like this are a huge undertaking, taking the majority of the off season to complete and a huge financial undertaking.

The Shallow Grave announced on August 21 that they would be CLOSING THE DOORS forever due to continuing operation being cost prohibitive.

How so, you ask?

A) The city ordinances of Winter Haven, FL only allows them to operate a limited number of nights during the year, therefore limiting the revenue made and ability for public to attend

B) The Shallow Grave rents space in a run down warehouse style building. The landlord refuses to change or reduce rent to accommodate this business.

C) The haunted attraction industry demands updates. Repeat visitors don't want to see the same haunt year after year, therefore huge cost goes into updating the haunt yearly to make it interesting and different enough for repeat visitors to be excited about returning. The Shallow Grave owners would rather close the doors than cut quality.

WHAT WILL CLOSING THE SHALLOW GRAVE DO?

A) The Shallow Grave brings thousands of visitors to the Winter Haven area over weekends in September/October. Closing this attraction will diminish this influx of local and out of state visitors to the area, therefore causing other local businesses to see a dip in sales (hotels, restaurants, bars)

B) The Shallow Grave has set the industry standard for independent haunts in Florida. Without the bar set so high, the entire industry will likely slip in quality and not strive to achieve this level of quality.

C) The arts scene in Winter Haven, FL will diminish. Beyond being scary, the level of artistry in these attractions is phenomenal. The scenic, costumes, make-up, puppets, animatronics and special effects in these houses employ artists who are top in their field. Closing The Shallow Grave will likely leave these artists unemployed and possibly having to leave the area to find work in their field.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

A) Reduce the rent to allow The Shallow Grave to continue operation, purchase the building to allow The Shallow Grave to continue at a reduced monthly cost.

B) Change the city ordinance, increasing the amount of operating nights per year, allowing The Shallow Grave to operate on a more robust schedule, driving more visitors to the Winter Haven area.

C) Find another location for The Shallow Grave to continue that is more cost effective with higher visitor traffic that will allow them to grow and flourish.

D) Help The Shallow Grave continue on to allow the ARTS to continue in Winter Haven, FL.

Sadly, I only found out about The Shallow Grave and made my first visit in 2015. I visited three times that year, bringing friends from Orlando and Tampa together to visit. I visited several more times in 2016, enjoying the changes and massive updates from the previous year. I also visited their awesome holiday haunt in December 2016, with a complete overlay to their Halloween haunt making it unique and very different. It is heartbreaking to see the news of their closing as I yearn to see the updates and continuation of these skilled artists/experts throughout the years. Living in the Orlando area, my Halloween seasons will feel empty without a haunt of THIS QUALITY in my backyard. It is time to SAVE THE GRAVE.

In the meantime PLEASE get down to see everything great that is The Shallow Grave this fall. Bring friends and family to see this one of a kind independent haunt. Support the Arts and Haunt Industry in Central Florida!!

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • The Shallow Grave
  • Mayor of Winter Haven FL
    Mayor Steven M Hunnicutt
  • Mayor Pro-Tem, Winter Haven
    Mayor Pro-Tem Nathaniel J Birdsong Jr
  • Winter Haven City Manager
    Mike Herr
  • Assistant to the City Manager
    Donna Sheehan
  • Assistant City Manager, Winter Haven
    T Michael Stavres
  • Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department Director
    Travis Edwards
  • Various Titles and Members
    Polk County Officials


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