Escape the Room Challenge opened in April 2015 and recently celebrated its first birthday. We wanted to celebrate with a client spotlight - we spoke with Bill, General Manager of EnterTRAINment Junction and Escape the Room Challenge. Here’s his take on Escape the Room Challenge and where they’re headed moving forward!
Why did the team at EnterTRAINment open up Escape the Room Challenge?
EnterTRAINment Junction is a unique experience and truly one-of-a-kind - no one else can say they have the largest train display in the world. When we decided to expand our activities, we didn’t want to do just another attraction that is everywhere, but we wanted to open something else unique in nature.
We decided to open up the Escape the Room Challenge because at the time, they were new and unique. More have popped up since but we’re working to make sure our rooms are original and memorable to everyone.
What’s surprised you most since opening?
I’m amazed by the overall response of Escape the Room Challenge. When we were researching and developing this prior to opening, escape the room challenges were top attractions in big cities. If you looked at top things to do in New York at the time, an escape room was #2 on the list.
I’m overall very pleased by how well this attraction was received and continues to do so well in Cincinnati.
What do you want your guests to experience?
The Escape the Room Challenge is unique to other attractions. It’s more of a mental challenge versus physical. We put you in a situation where you have to work together to escape. I would hope that when our guests leave any of our rooms, they not only had fun, but feel like they were challenged along the way.
Which room is your favorite?
I like all of the rooms. Escape the Mob is my personal favorite because I really enjoy the theme, backstory, and overall setting.
Which room has the highest failure rate?
Esmerelda’s Curse is our hardest room by far. Only 20% of people who play that particular room get out.
What’s something not many people don’t know about the Escape the Room Challenge?
Our goal has always been to make the overall experience more immersive. When you visit EnterTRAINment Junction, everything is in theme throughout the entire room .
We didn’t slack on Escape the Room Challenge. When you go into Esmerelda's Curse, you feel like you’re in her parlor - same with the Escape the Mob warehouse. Double Agent Dilemma is a high tech challenge so the room and tasks at hand mirror that. We’ve developed an interactive experience that envelops you entirely.
What are you most excited for in regards to ETRC?
Since opening, we’ve encountered more competing escape the rooms in Cincinnati. I’m most excited for how we can continue to keep ours interesting and keep people coming back. People will have choices, no doubt, and we want to continually grow and add new things to keep us top of mind.
Is there anything new coming down the pipeline?
Coming soon with our Double Agent Dilemma, those who have already completed will be able to do the room again with different puzzles to find a different double agent - we will have the ability to essentially have 8 different versions for this room!
Also, we’re excited to say that we have a new room in production set to open late 2016 or early 2017.
What sets you apart from other “escape room” attractions?
We put so much time and effort into making every room as immersive as possible. Every room is a different world entirely. That’s the way the industry is going. You have to go all out for it to catch your guests’ attention.
What do you love about this industry and ETRC?
It’s fun to be in the attraction industry because it’s always changing. The ultimate goal is to put on a show and entertain people. The Escape the Room is fun because it’s unique. Not a lot of people have done one before.
It’s fun to see their reactions - they tend to come in tentative and leave wondering why they’ve never done it before. I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t liked it.
What experiences have you encountered opening ETRC that others would find helpful when opening their own attraction?
Anytime you open up any business (especially an attraction like this) you don’t know how people are going to respond. This whole experience is about physically what you do in the environment - you know what a roller coaster will offer guests and can easily predict how everything happens.
When you build rooms for Escape the Room Challenge, you’re putting something together for people to interact with and respond to. You have to think out of the box of what will happen. You think you know what will happen, but be ready to be wrong.