Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have you been to Asylum 49? (Part 1 of 2)

            Last October, I had the opportunity to interview Kimm Anderson, who is the owner and founder of his own business that he runs, and loves every minute of it. He says it’s so much fun it doesn’t even feel like work. In the outskirts of town in Tooele there is a creepy old hospital that is located at 140 East 200 South that was built in 1943 and finally closed its doors in 2002. Kimm was lucky enough to buy the building when it first came to be available on the market. Kimm, like me loves the Halloween holiday.

As a youth he grew up working in the March of Dimes Haunted House, and followed his childhood dream, which was to eventually run his own haunted house professionally for Halloween with employees and revenue he could enjoy after the month of October. He claims he was a troubled youth and therefore he likes to hire on young adults. He feels he can relate to them and gives them a chance to work in a fun environment. He claims, “There isn’t much to do in Tooele as youth. I want to keep them off the streets.” He has one rule and that is they must get good grades in school: if they can’t do that, they are off of his staff until the grades improve. He also enjoys teaching kids handy work and different techniques in construction and working with tools.

Last year he claimed he had no problem keeping up and even met his scheduled deadlines a month ahead of schedule. He loves marketing and has worked well with getting his company out in the public eye with advertisements on the radio. He even had a promotional activity that involved the Utah Blitz, a women’s football team. Kimm matches my current career goal because he owns his own business, enjoys it, and is progressing in business during a bad economy. The following is his interview.

What Experience prepared you for your career choice?

“I worked for a Haunted House (March of Dimes) when I was a kid and loved it. I eventually helped start Nightmare on 13th; I really wanted to start my own haunted house.”

What type of degree, if any, would benefit in this position?

“A Business Degree” Do you have a Business degree? “No, I wish I had one” I’m still envious of you, my teacher in my career preparation class pretty much told me that my degree is worthless and it’s not what-you-know but who-you-know. So instead of rigorously studying expensive books for the past decade I should’ve been kissing up to Larry H. Miller or something like that. “In Utah that seems to be the case but I’ve found that out of Utah say like New York, that “who-you-know, what-you-know” statement is reversed.”

Why did you decide to enter this career field?

“I love doing it so much! It’s not a real job.”

If you had to do it over, would you make the same choice?


What advice would you give a novice in this area of work?

“Do what you love, then it will be better then everything out there.”

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

“I’m my own boss.”

What do you like least about it?

“It doesn’t last all year.” Why not is there a law against it or is it just business is business? “No, there’s no law against it. It’s just as you said, business is business. Utah is a very funny state when it comes to the seasons and the holidays. They are really big into being scared and love Halloween and will go all out for it, but once October is over then they want something else like Christmas or whatever.” I’ve heard of some haunted houses that are open in September and October, and some stay open a little into November have you ever tried that? “I have, and both September and the first week of November was completely dead. We do, however, offer ghost hunts in the hospital starting in January and we have that open for a couple of months. We offer classes on ghost hunting as well.” Is the hospital really haunted? “Oh yes.”

What are your most difficult challenges to succeed in your current career?

“I don’t have one, anything is possible.”

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

“Being the best haunted house in the nation!” That’s great, Kimm, I’m sure you will be someday.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed meeting Kimm Anderson and was very grateful for his time in giving me an interview. I’ve learned through Kimm that if you have a ton of ambition you can accomplish a lot of things that you want to do in life. I also sadly learned that when it comes to succeeding in your career in Utah, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. I hope that I can take Kimm’s example to heart when I start pursuing my career after college.

Do you think in order to succeed in Utah you need to know someone important or is a college degree worth it?

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