BILLINGS - A Billings corn maze had to raise admission prices this year due to higher costs on insurance, employees, candy/popcorn supplies and gas. Prices have increased by $2 per person. However, they say other prices, like for pumpkins, will remain the same.
Owners of The Maize at Grandpa's Farm Phil and Mindy Hopkin said insurance is four times higher than what it was last year. They are also paying one and a half times more for employees and candy/popcorn supplies. And, gas is two times higher. They use the gas to power their lights, concessions and tractors.
Both Phil and Mindy agree the best part of owning a corn maze is seeing the smiles on everyone's faces.
"We run into people at Verizon or wherever, who proposed out here or their first date was out here at the corn maze," Phil said. "And now their children are coming out here. So, it's kind of cool to see some of that going on."
In addition to the corn maze, customers can expect to see animals, games and a pumpkin patch.
The theme this year is "We are One."
"We thought that if we could remember that we are all part of one big world, then some of the things we let bother us on a daily basis wouldn't be so earth-shattering," Phil said.
Unfortunately, the corn maze has been the target of TikTok challenges. Someone vandalized the port-a-potties the first weekend the corn maze was open.
"These just happen to be brand new," they said. "We're the first ones to use these port-a-potties. The first weekend, all six of the hand sanitizers were ripped out and destroyed. So, we'll probably incur a cost for that too. We haven't seen that bill yet, but I can't imagine they'll replace those for free."'