Escaping Locked Rooms a Growing Entertainment Industry

Megan Lynch tours the newest escape rooms in the area

Megan Lynch
June 25, 2018 - 7:00 am
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Glen Carbon, IL (KMOX) - Escape rooms are popping up across the St. Louis region. You may be wondering what's inside.  KMOX's Megan Lynch recently toured one of the newest escape rooms in the Metro East.

 

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Sirens blare as a woman's voice gives you instructions inside the "Dark Sector" at Safe Escape Rooms in Glen Carbon, Illinois.  There you become scientists on a darkened space station solving clues to move from room to room.  You have limited time to make it through the final door.

 

The founders and managing members of Safe Escape Rooms are two couples... Matt and Traci Hemann and Diane and Tom Kaminski.  "We've been friends for a long time and we're best friends.  We go on vacation together, we worry about our kids together, worry our parents together."

As Tom explains, it was on one of those shared trips that they encountered their first escape rooms.  After the first 15 minute room they were hooked. Next they tried one that they were supposed to escape in an hour.  "We did that one, we did not do very good, if we did not get out we'd still be there."  They knew then it something they wanted to bring to the Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Troy area. 

 

The two couples combined their skills to design and create each themed area, crafting secret passages and props -- like a pool filter they turned into an alien in a cannister.

 

The partners employed a professional artist to create the realistic artwork on the walls that helps make the rooms an immersive experience.

 

They scoured the internet for a variety of challenging puzzles that use lazers and combinations.

 

In the Egyptian room Tom points to a skeleton sitting on a massive throne.  You have to figure out how to move him, to get closer to your exit.  "This is a 400 lb throne they have to get open.  There's a magnetic lock on this and this is a three part puzzle."

 

KMOX asked what happens if a player panics?  One door always stays open and Matt, Traci, Tom or Diane will come get you.

The four sit in the control room when games are going to make sure the groups are okay.  They're ready to type clues onto the computer screens if players ask.  That also means means they hear everything that goes on.

"you have all these personalities locked in a room, usually the wives are yelling at the husbands, 'I told you'... ...'you were supposed to find it'... ...'it's your area'."

 

They'll have to continually add and change the rooms to keep groups coming back.

In fact coming soon, a serial killer room -- that's a creepy cabin -- for older players.

They thought the business would appeal to older kids and young adults but have seen participants of all ages. 

 

Safe Escape Rooms