As Hidden Trail enters 2017, changes are on the horizon. I'm talking all over the horizon. Like a flock of seagulls that can't seem to pull it together. In 2016 we saw a lot of unexpected turns for our little business. We lost our beloved asylum to a fire. We opened two new escape rooms, we were stalled for several months (and counting) on our fourth room and now we have a new section of our services. One that we never really planned on getting in to but that we've been awkwardly jiggling through and making a lot of progress on. Designing escape rooms for others.
Looking at that last pair of sentences doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. How does someone or some company get in to the escape room DESIGN business without intending to go there in the first place. Well, if there's one thing that I've learned in the past year being so engulfed in escape room culture, it's that the skills required to design a solid escape room aren't exactly a universal trait. That's not to say that those who would like to own an escape room but don't have the know how on designing one aren't fit to do so. In fact, I would argue the opposite. Our team has worked with 6 clients over the past month and their stories are all very similar. They have the savvy and skills to run a business successfully, but are looking for a particular build for their rooms. It's like wanting to open and run a restaurant but knowing that you'll need to hire a head chef because you're not a cook. The passion and skills are there, but you need a hand with a certain part of the business (That's why we hired Noelle. She fills a void that I, the owner, could not.).
So at this point, two reasonable thoughts might come in to mind. If you've done our rooms and have heard us hype up our new location, you might be thinking "But HT... dude... doesn't this slow down the opening of your new room? It's already been soooo long!". To that I would reply "Dude... we can't possibly go any slower than the city is making us go. We are going to open it as soon as we're allowed to, promise.". If it's not apparent, we're a little bit salty about the red tape we've been wading through.
Another thought could be "Alright, that sounds interesting. What exactly do you offer these escape room design buyers?". Good question, Carl... If your name is Carl, I hope you're freaked out right now. Well, we do the whole shtick. We design the set, decor, puzzles, props, electronics including wiring diagrams, story line, clue system, room reset list. Basically everything anyone could need to build out a room outside of the physical materials which we will also source if needed. Boring answer? Well not to us, OK!?
So we're on a yellow brick road that kind of popped up out of nowhere and we're cruising on down it full speed ahead. Are we still a Windsor-based company? 100% Could you end up doing an escape room in Arizona, Calgary, or some other far away land that was designed by us? In the wise words of Will Farrell in Step Brothers, "YUP!"