Amazon has opened its first store in Centre County.
The Amazon@StateCollege opened Tuesday at 134 S. Allen St., which was home to Halloween City and Abercrombie and Fitch. It is Amazon’s 22nd location.
The store’s opening foreshadows the return of tens of thousands of Penn State students. The location, near the heart of downtown State College, was no mistake. Amazon has targeted college towns for its pickup service.
Students can choose to have orders delivered to the counter to pick up or retrieve them from self-service lockers that can be opened using a security code.
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“There locations are meant to be used by both students and non-students, but we’re happy to be available for students as they return to campus,” Amazon spokeswoman Carly Golden said. “Amazon@StateCollege can come in particularly handy for those items that you don’t want to pack and move with you to campus. Just order what you need on Amazon, pick up at the State College location and lighten your moving load.”
The service is available to subscribers of Amazon Prime, the company’s membership program. Amazon will send an email to subscribers when items are ready to pick up.
The store in Happy Valley will offer “the greater State College community a convenient location to pick up and return Amazon orders, including virtually everything one needs, from everyday essentials to technology.”
Golden said nine to 15 people would be employed at the store.
New escape room being built in State College
The biggest issue you’ll face at this new business is how to get out.
Fortunately, that’s the idea.
An escape room — where a team of people signs up in advance to be locked in a room to solve clues and puzzles to find the key to escape — is setting up shop in Happy Valley. The space at 210 E. Calder Way, formerly Mike’s Movies, is being outfitted for Escape Room Inc., which will open in late August.
There will be three escape room games: the chancellor’s office will be loosely based off Happy Valley and Penn State, the diamond heist will require players to steal diamonds and “bust out before it’s too late and the last game is still being developed with local engineers and businesses.
“I was one of the first people to open an escape room and that was in Pittsburgh,” co-owner Joe Deasy said. “I have two there and now one in Sate College, and I think they excelled so fast because it’s something that can be done by almost everyone. It’s part of a fun night out.”
A game takes about an hour and 20 minutes, including an explanation of the rules and for a question and answer session after playing, Deasy said. Tickets to play are available online at escaperoominc.com, and sessions can be booked three months in advance.
There are also some age restrictions.
“If you are under the age of 15, we require that you are accompanied by an adult and that you book the entire room,” the company website said. “The games are difficult and made to stump you so it is our requirement that players under 15 bring an appropriate amount of adults.”
The escape room will be available for booking 5-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The business will be closed Monday and Tuesday
5 startups graduate from Happy Valley LaunchBox
Five startups graduated Tuesday in downtown State College from Happy Valley Launchbox, a free 10-week business accelerator program.
The five graduating companies bring the number of startups to have completed the programming to 31 in 18 months.
Ardor & Forge produces watches made for rugged conditions during camping or hiking, while still being appropriate for casual wear, and Embrace the Space makes safety products for cyclists. Boss Healthy Journey creates custom daily workout and diets on a mobile app for people who want to lose 50 or more pounds.
Node Farms created an online platform that facilitates commercial business for farmers’ goods, and Sleuth Tiny Homes customizes homes that are smaller than traditional housing.