A New Partnership
We just finished our first ever weekend long murder mystery, and we are so excited to say that we will be doing it again next year.
The weekend started with tornado and flash flood warnings, and ended with iced over vehicles, but the crazy weather couldn't slow down our sleuths.
At the start of the weekend, when someone asked us if there were costumes necessary for the murder mystery, we were scared that we had a group of guests who didn't quite understand what Sly Hedgehog does. We could not have been more wrong. These guests jumped right into solving the murder and completing their challenges.
The Inn at Hermannhof had a fantastic set up. We got a room dedicated to the crime scene with new evidence popping up throughout the weekend. We also were able to use the brewery and restaurant. Guests from the inn and cottages spent their weekend tirelessly seeking out clues, completing challenges, finding hidden gems, doing a town wide scavenger hunt, and more.
Honestly, we could not have anticipated how much fun this weekend would be, and how fantastic a group of amateur detectives we would get.
People had such a good time that by Saturday morning the inn had invited us back for next year. Here's hoping that these will be the first of many more weekend mysteries to come!
Weekend-long murder mystery
While we have taken a break from our public murder mysteries, we have been working on something the two of us have wanted to do since we started: a weekend-long murder mystery! Since we started this business, we have had this goal in mind, but we needed to find the right inn to collaborate with. The Hermannhof Inn in Hermann, MO has everything we are looking for.
They have tons of space, so we can have a lot of guests and places to hide clues. They are located close to home, so we (and you if you live near us) don't have too far to travel, and they are (almost) as excited about this mystery as we are.
At every event we've done, we have had so many ideas we had to scrap because the four hour window just wasn't enough time. We aren't going to be restricted by that timeframe any longer, and we are making the most of it. Expect to be busy the ENTIRE weekend as you try to hide from the killer (unless you ARE the killer), complete your team challenge, finish a side quest, and so much more.
The inn is incredibly accommodating and will be providing dinner Friday evening, along with appetizers on Saturday and breakfast Saturday and Sunday.
We are more than excited to collaborate with them and hope you can join us this January! Book your room here: https://secure.thinkreservations.com/innathermannhof/reservations/availability?start_date=2020-01-10&end_date=2020-01-12
When we started Sly Hedgehog 2 years ago, we had planned to write a few murder mystery kits and hoped to save enough money to put on a public murder mystery dinner. After a month or so of working through how much we would need to make to be able to host an event, we said, "Screw it. Let's just do it and see what happens."
We hosted our first event in September 2017 and sold out all 80 tickets weeks before the day of the event. We were shocked and excited, as we discussed what all of this would mean. We have spent the past 1.5 years planning and hosting these mysteries, and we have loved every minute of it.
Our jobs were basically to watch our favorite shows and movies and then create absurd and silly puzzles related to them. We wish that we could have continued, but life had other plans (Jessica's beautiful new baby being just one of the new adventures we are embarking on).
As we continue onto the next part of our lives, we want to thank all those who have supported us. At the end of every mystery, I (Libby) thank those who came out because without them, we wouldn't be able to host these events. That stands true now. Without all the people who came out to our events and played our game, we couldn't have enjoyed these past couple of years.
So THANK YOU!
Our New Home
Sly Hedgehog has gotten a new home, and with that new home, we have gotten some new opportunities. When we first started hosting murder mysteries over a year ago, we were renting out venues for a single night in order to host our events. Because each day there cost us so much money, we had to charge a lot for each event, so we could make a little profit. To ensure that our guests got their money’s worth when they came to one of our murder mysteries, we created events that were longer and had a full meal provided.
This model seemed to work…for a while. After several months, we began to realize that it was not sustainable for a number of reasons. For each event, we would have to put it together at Jessica’s house (where we typically worked each day), pack it up, load it into Libby’s minivan (after unloading all the kids’ car seats), unload it at the venue, pack up after the event, load it again in Libby’s minivan, and finally take it back and unload it at Jessica’s. While we loved every event, we started to dread them because we were dreading set up and clean up.
Our prices were also less accessible than we wanted them to be. We wanted to be able to provide people with a fun evening without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, we couldn’t offer cheaper events and still make money. We realized we needed our own space. We planned on seeking out a location at the beginning of 2019, but an opportunity arose that we couldn’t pass up.
The Milton Schoolhouse in Alton, IL is a perfect location for our first home. The venue is unique, interesting, fun, and (maybe) haunted. Even more exciting is the opportunities it brings. Most notably are our Miniature Mysteries. Instead of charging $65/person for four hours of murder and a full dinner, we can charge just $25/person (or less for the group rate) for two hours of murder and snacks.
When we first signed the lease, we were so anxious to put our mysteries on sale, we hadn’t taken the time to think through the changes the space would bring. We immediately put two full mysteries on sale (The Office and Jurassic Park). After a short time, we developed the idea of the Miniature Mysteries (which were play-tested as a demo over a year ago) and put the first on sale (Lord of the Rings).
It became apparent to us that the demand for the Miniature Mysteries was far greater than the demand for the longer ones, and we had to deal with the reality of this. We have decided to cancel our The Office themed event after seeing that ticket sales were too low for us to put on a good event. We don’t like having to cancel events, but without enough people, they are not fun. Likewise, we have decided to change our Jurassic Park murder to a Miniature Mystery.
We will now be focusing on the smaller events, hosting more of those and only hosting the larger events for special occasions. In the meantime, those who have watched our website and Facebook page probably saw some weird changes happening. We switched dates on events (to accommodate an engagement party for the owner of Milton), took things off sale, added new types of events, and changed our private party information (since we have a location to host the private parties in).
Overall, we are excited for what this new chapter will bring us, and we hope that you can bear with us as we learn for ourselves what these changes mean for Sly Hedgehog.