Escape rooms – an idea…

I played my first escape room in a Penang Market 1 week ago at Flee 60 Room, two days later I played again in Singapore at a place called Exitplan and what I originally thought is a fad, I’m beginning to think will lave legs and probably evolve in the same way where one goes to enjoy the movies, frequents the gym, seek thrills at a theme park, kill time, catch up with mates at a cafe.

With a bit of googling, I learnt the idea basically came from a Japanese TV game show called Dero, you can youtube it. Since then I’ve read anecdotally that the popularity of escape rooms has increased leaps and bounds and literally sweeping the nation. One only needs to search ‘Escape rooms in Australia’ to read it has also caught on in basically all major cities.

Now, booking an escape room for an hour of thrills is not cheap, but looked at differently it does appeal on the basis of an hour of bonding with good mates or with family – think granddad with grandson. In Penang and Singapore we paid roughly $20 AUD each for an hour, over here in Australia expect to pay anywhere from $30 upwards. From a frugalman perspective I definitely would not be advocating frequenting escape rooms on any regular basis, unless the cost comes down considerably, however, if I put my entrepreneur lenses over my frugal ones, I see an opportunity.

I’ll describe it briefly, hopefully someone can take the baton and run with it. As the saying goes the way to get things done is not to mind who takes credit for it. Escape rooms really lends itself to basically any environment you can think of. The rooms can be as small or as big as you need it to be, what makes all the difference is how creative the game play is. Thus, you could install an old school phone booth, be creative with game play and start soliciting players. It could also be as big as the planet itself – think “The Amazing Race”, throw in a few geo-cache elements and as many actors as you want and you could potentially create the annual escape room championships. From the escape rooms I have seen myself, most are not much bigger than a bedroom.

The idea that I have is simply to apply the tiny house logic and have escape rooms built on the back of a truck, a school bus or on the trailer and drive it to where the party or corporate event is. Since it’s mobile you could build a following where you outsource the game play and design to your followers and once ready – deliver it to them. Alternatively you can apply the sharing economy logic and convert your unused garage or bedroom and attach it as a side business to compliment your airbnb business.  I think this business idea can work. Our number one business advantage when compared to other escape room businesses is low overhead costs (i.e. no rent). Being mobile also means no rent and the ability to scale up and down and be hired out to corporate events. I think the creative potential is endless, just like the movies.

What do you think?

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Forgot to mention, we failed to escape this one… 😛

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