Escapades doubles escape room offerings

By Rosemary McCoy

The interest in escape rooms in Sioux Falls is growing, prompting one business to double its offerings.

Escapades at 3313 S. Western Ave. added its third escape room in January, and a fourth one is coming this summer.

The Paris Heist room at Escapades.

The jewelry heist from Kim Kardashian’s hotel room last year inspired owners Kari and Doug Black to create The Paris Heist.  Players take on the roles of hotel workers who have noticed that “Kim Kordashian” often leaves her room without her $4 million wedding ring. They enter the room to steal it, but are trapped inside. They need to find the ring and solve a series of puzzles to escape within 60 minutes.

The Blacks are building the fourth room, Pirate Shipwreck, and plan to open it in June. It will feature part of a ship and a sandy beach. The newest game will feature a lot of high-tech puzzles, Kari Black said.

The couple came up with the idea while playing an escape room in Orlando, Fla., that features a movie set.

“We were like, ‘This is awesome,’ “ Black said. The room was very different, and the puzzles were hard.”

Her husband is an “electrical, mechanical guy,” so he is building “all kinds of different hidden compartments and rooms” and all of the tech-driven puzzles.

Doug Black is building the props for Pirate Shipwreck.

In Pirate Shipwreck, for example, players will have to “blow out” four candles in a certain order.

While the city has a handful of businesses that offer escape rooms, the market isn’t oversaturated, Black said. Part of that is “people don’t know what they are,” she said. “I’m still telling people what they are.”

Often, after a first experience, “they’ll play all the rooms in town,” she said. “The repeat business is super high.”

In addition to outings for friends and family, escape rooms attract corporate groups for team-building exercises and wedding parties that are looking for something fun to do.

Escapades’ first two rooms, RaPunzel’s Cottage and The Forgotten Library, were built in a semitrailer so they could be taken to different locations. Once the Blacks realized the effort that took, they decided to park it permanently at the business on Western Avenue. Those games can be played by up to six or eight players. The Paris Heist and Pirate Shipwreck can accommodate up to 12 or 15 people.

Bookings can be made for as early as 8 a.m. and as late as 8:30 p.m. daily. Escapades can adjust that as needed, Black said. The fee is $30 per person.

Pirate Shipwreck will feature part of a ship and a beach.

Escapades doubles escape room offerings

Escapades at 3313 S. Western Ave. added its third escape room in January, and a fourth one is coming this summer.

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