Congressional Candidate Interview: Ryan Solen, Haunted House Attractions In Wisconsin, Online Identity Fatigue

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How many times did you post to social media this week? How often do you cast yourself in a better light? We talk to an author who says we’re getting sick of cultivating a polished online persona. In our continuing series of candidate interviews, we talk with Ryan Solen, the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district. And we learn about the spooky Haunted House attractions in Wisconsin.

Featured in this Show

  • Congressional Candidate Interview: Ryan Solen

    Democrat Ryan Solen joins us to talk about his campaign for Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, as part of an ongoing series of candidate interviews.

  • Haunted Halloween Attractions Are A Big Business In Wisconsin

    With Halloween just around the corner, we’ll talk to an expert about the big business of haunted house attractions in Wisconsin.

  • Halloween Is Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry, Second Only To Christmas, Expert Says

    On Halloween weekend, Wisconsin residents will seek out and pay for the opportunity to be scared out of their wits. And according to the Haunted House Association, a growing number of thrills are coming from professional haunted attractions.

    Haunted attractions are places using Hollywood-level visual effects for the biggest and scariest impact. There are about 2,000 haunted attractions in the United States charging admission for screams and scares, according to the association.

    Waunakee’s Wisconsin Scaryland is one such attraction with nearly 20,000 square feet of indoor haunted area. It’s also one of the largest in the Midwest.

    Wisconsin Scaryland marketing manager Jeff Pertzborn said the site is an old meat-packing plant with twists and turns through spaces that were formerly used as a convenience store, gas station, office building and more.

    “It’s just a really fun playground for a person like me,” Pertzborn said.

    Halloween is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, second only to Christmas, Pertzborn said, and that means a great number of people are traveling through haunted houses for only a select few October weekends.

    The Chicago Tribune reported spending on Halloween candy could have its strongest hike since 2011, with a potential increase of 5.5 percent and reaching 3.8 billion.

    This year, Halloween spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation, which has does annual surveys on Halloween spending for 11 years. The $8.4 billion is the highest in the survey’s history.

    Individually, people are expected to spend an average of $82.93, up from 2015’s $74.34 average.

    The NRF predicts 21 percent of Halloween celebrators will visit a haunted house. NRF surveyed 6,800 people for the survey.

    You can locate a haunted house or attraction near you this weekend here.

  • Authenticity In The Age Of Social Media

    Thanks to social media like Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat we’re constantly presenting ourselves and our lives to the world, usually trying to put the best spin possible on how we’re doing. Our guest says that can lead to questions about what’s authentic, and fatigue when it comes to personal branding.

Episode Credits

  • Kate Archer Kent Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Karl Christenson Producer
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Ryan Solen Guest
  • Jeff Pertzborn Guest
  • Dani Shapiro Guest

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