Every day we meet enthusiasts who love escape rooms so much they want to open their own, so they come to us for advice. We, the owners and creators of Cross Roads Escape Games, have decided to host a class at the Halloween conventions: Midsummer Scream and ScareLA. These classes will have tips, advice, and an open Q&A with myself and my husband, Luke, to answer all your questions and everything we learned while on this rollercoaster of opening an Escape Room.
Part 1 will take place at Midsummer Scream, a Halloween convention in Long Beach, on Sunday July 30th at 2:30pm. We will be in Classroom A and the seating is first come first served. The information can be found here. Our class is called: How To Start Your Own Escape Room Experience, and it will talk about just that. If this is something you are serious about, I highly recommend coming. The #1 hardest part to opening an escape room is getting through the city and knowing what permits you need. Any escape room owner will agree that getting approval from the city is the absolute worst, hardest, and stressful part. This is mainly because people have no idea where to start, I know we didn’t. We want you to learn from our mistakes and know exactly what you are getting into before you are in too deep.
Part 2 will take place at ScareLA, a Halloween convention in downtown Los Angeles, on Sunday August 6th at 5pm. This is one you will need to register for once you buy tickets and you can do so here. This class will focus on what to do once you have a location and permits taken care of. We will give design tips, operating tips, what research you should do, and resources to use. This class will be great for anyone who currently operates a haunt or an immersive theatre show and wants to add escape room elements to it, or for anyone who is interested in escape rooms and game design.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “This is awesome! But why would Cross Roads be giving me (a competitor) this advice in an already crowded market?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Luke and I love escape rooms, we are huge enthusiasts that have played well over 100 escape rooms each and we do not see other escape rooms as competitors. Every company has their own games, and they are all (hopefully) different. Escape room are not a common thing to replay, and we love referring our guests to our favorite games in the area and vice versa. We truly think that we are stronger as a community then as competitors.
If this is something you are serious in doing and you cannot make the classes, I encourage you to think outside the box when designing your escape room. Go big or go home.
A quick disclaimer: Your experience of opening your business will be different than ours. The city you choose may have different guidelines and regulations that you must abide by. All we can tell you is what we did and what we learned from our process, in hopes that it will help you. Also, we will not be giving away any personal financial information. The advice and information that we will be giving out is a one-time thing. We will not be answering questions or emails about opening an escape room outside of these 2 classes.
CEO, Co-Owner, Creative Director
Cross Roads Escape Games
UPDATE 8/5/17: Christine Barger aka The Haunt Girl was able to videotape our first talk at Midsummer Scream. You can view it on her website here.