Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Maze Craze
NEW SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – If Dorothy Gale visited Maze Craze, she might say to her dog, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Ohio anymore.”
That’s because the autumnal attraction, which has gone “Wizard of Oz” this year, is so big you can lose your way in it.
Maze Craze is a seasonal business in New Springfield centered around a 21-acre corn maze that depicts characters and scenes from the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”
Every year, the maze is different; last year’s had a Peter Pan theme.
“I try to pick something that may have a certain relevance in the upcoming year,” says Cindy Bacon, who owns and operates the attraction with her husband, Michael. “For example, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ movie has its 80th anniversary this year. I also try to choose a design that people can connect with or relate to in some way.”
Maze Craze started in 2009 in the Columbiana area. It moved to its current location at 14070 Woodworth Road in 2014.
In addition to the maze, the business offers a hayride, a corn cannon, pumpkin carving and a host of games and things for kids to climb all over.
Maze Craze has become a regional attraction that found its way onto the Top 10 corn mazes in the United States list based on a poll conducted by USA Today. The Wizard of Oz maze boasts a total of 9.2 miles of trails in its four separate paths.
The maze was designed and created by MazePlay, a company based in Firth, Idaho, and takes a good bit of planning.
“The corn is planted along the lines of the design with a precision planter that utilizes a GPS [global positioning system],” says Bacon.
She did not reveal the cost of creating the maze, but says it is based not only on size and level of detail, but also copyright stipulations.
The only way to see the design of the maze is by using a drone – unless you happen to be looking out the window of a passing airplane. Therefore, guests going through it are given a map so they have an idea of their location.
Maze Craze is not only a family-oriented attraction; it’s also a family business.
“All of our employees are family, friends and friends of friends,” says Bacon. The number of seasonal employees changes each night, depending on the weekend and the weather, but ranges from 20 to 50, says Bacon.
Maze Craze is located on farmland owned by the Bacon family, and the business is a team effort that is in addition to their other work.
Michael Bacon is an owner and operator of The Links at Firestone Farms golf course in Columbiana and Cindy is a pharmacist for Hometown Pharmacy. The couple splits the duties of running the place, with Cindy handling the business end and Michael building the attractions.
They got the idea to start Maze Craze while on a vacation.
“We had visited a corn maze while on a family camping trip and believed that together we could create something that people would enjoy, and hopefully make it a yearly tradition,” says Bacon. “My husband grew up on a farm and we thought it was a great idea to incorporate agriculture in a family oriented environment.”
Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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