A little more than a month after the State College area’s first escape room opened, a second is scheduled to open in early May, according to the owners.
Located at 2290 E. College Ave. in College Township, Escape Artist Centre County will add four themed rooms into the quickly growing mix of mental challenges and team-building experiences that are spreading across the country. The business takes the place of Thrive Fitness studio, which closed in September.
Escape rooms task players with deciphering clues to either escape or solve a puzzle. Typically lasting an hour, they draw upon popular conceits from the entertainment industry, such as crime shows or sci-fi thrillers.
Owners Brian Becker, Jr. and his father fell in love with the games after playing one two years ago. Becker, Jr., 31, said Escape Artist’s themes will include a pirate treasure hunt, an ancient Egyptian-themed escapade, a “Silence of the Lambs”-esque psychological thriller and a Sherlock Holmes-style caper.
The games are designed by Hungarian firm MazeBase, which creates games for locations around the world.
“There’s something for everyone’s taste,” Becker, Jr. said.
Becker, Jr. expects to hire about 10 employees. The Central Pennsylvania native said he plans to offer discounts to students and military, and the business will donate a portion of proceeds to one chosen organization per month.
“You’ll have fun, but also be giving back as well,” he said.
Hours are projected to be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Becker, Jr. said customers will be able to eventually book through a website, currently under development, or by getting in contact via Escape Artist’s Facebook page. Bookings will become available near the end of April, he added, though the room will also accept walk-ins.