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super villains dastardly plan to destroy the world. At Evergreen Fun Park in Park Rapids, Minnesota, Tom Atwood has come up with two different escape room themes, and he’s always trying to come up with the next best thing. The two rooms that he works with are “FDR’s Secret Bunker,” a room located deep below Grand Central Station in New York. His guests are led along a storyline where they are getting a VIP tour of Grand Central Station and then accidentally get locked in the bunker forcing them to take a step back in time and reality. The second room that Tom operates is a little scarier, he laughed, “ We had some pre-teen girls in there last week who were screaming so loud I think most people were actually a little worried.” The theme of this scary room is “Deadly Deer Camp.” Tom actually built a replica cabin inside the room to give it an ultra scary feel of a haunted backwoods camp. The participants in Deadly Deer Camp have made the mistake of trespassing on the wrong property and now must pay the price. It’s like a haunted house, horror movie and escape room all in one.

Video/Audio As all skating centers know, lights and audio are key to create a mood for your skaters. Many escape rooms, such as Black Gold, the completely lightless room in Belgrade, Montana, use sensory deprivation to set the mood. The participants in Black Gold are given tiny LED flashlights to try and work out the many clues hidden around the room. Operator Chiara Schober says, “The room is so dark and the flashlights are so small that they never can get their night vision or bearings, it is total and utter blackness.” Tom Atwood, who runs the Deadly Deer Camp room, utilizes piped

in spooky music and scary animal sounds in order Now here we are, the meat and potatoes of all to create a terrifying experience for his players. escape rooms, the clues. Each owner/operator must come up with a series of clues that all work All rooms do have video and audio surveillance together for the users to puzzle out. Many owners in order to monitor progress, help give clues, try and make things as hard as possible, and some or just make sure that everything is going well aim for an easy family fun experience. However, inside. At Time Trap Rooms, the superheromost try for about a 50% success rate. themed room run by Sean O’Brien, the users are constantly interacting with a video screen. The Tom Atwood from Evergreen Fun Center superhero will appear at random points within says, “We want to get them so far that they can the game to give clues, help with progress and set see their success, so they want it, we want them different goals that trip the users up as they try to only be a step or two away from solving the and escape. room to keep up the suspension and excitement.” Atwood also allows users to ask for three clues should they get stuck on a tricky part.

Clues

The common term for the different points that users must bypass to move onto the next clue are called Choke Points. There can be many choke points throughout the game, some can be misdirecting, others cerebral, some physical. In the Professor T.S. Babcock escape room, run by the Schober’s in Belgrade, Montana, many of the clues are physical, and teammates must work together or they cannot solve the room. Chiara Schober elaborates, “We have one point where one user has their hands in a box trying to fit together different sets of pipes, the pipe fitter cannot see the pipes so a different user must stand behind the box and verbally help them succeed.” In the Schober’s Blackout Room there are seven keys and seven locks, and users must figure out simple puzzles to pass the choke points in order to turn on the lights. In Sean O’Brien’s Superhero-themed room, he wanted to have a fresh and innovative take on the clues and puzzles. “I designed everything myself,” he said, “There are a few points where you must find hidden keys, a few where there are standard combo locks with letters on them, so sometimes

60 / Roller Skating Business Magazine / Volume 25 - Issue 1 www.rollerskating.org

Profile for Roller Skating Association International

Volume 25 / Issue 1  

In this issue of Roller Skating Business Magazine, members will learn all about the new trend of escape rooms, keeping customers safe in a c...

Volume 25 / Issue 1  

In this issue of Roller Skating Business Magazine, members will learn all about the new trend of escape rooms, keeping customers safe in a c...