Clue Avenue Escape Rooms, located on the corner of Grand Ave. and Kalmia Street, is an escape room founded in July 2016 by a group of friends who wanted to encourage teamwork and share interactive stories.
The four couples who started Clue Avenue met and became friends through their church. Nick Pryor, the Operations Manager, states that the eight of them “enjoy each other’s company,” engage in “deep spiritual and philosophical conversations,” and also try to find different activities to enjoy together. One of the activities they tried was an escape room in San Diego called Escapism Puzzle Room.
Pryor explains that Escapism Puzzle Room “was a blast” and that they “escaped in time”, but they also all saw the enormous benefit of the experience both as engaging entertainment and a way to build community. After they got out, the friends went out to lunch and that is where they started a conversation about opening up an escape room of their own. Pryor states that the whole group of friends brought a perfect conglomeration of interests and skills to the table. Their professions range from being computer programmers and teachers to business owners and marketers. This allows for the group to create a unique and incredibly engaging encounter for their customers.
An interesting aspect of an escape room experience is the story. Pryor explains that the storytelling in an escape room is different from a book or a movie because it is incredibly “interactive, you’re not just observing”. He states that in “every prop and puzzle is a part of the story itself”. Everything in the room must help immerse the escapist in the story the experience is trying to tell.
Pryor also elaborates on the type of story that they aim to tell. Even in the story that takes place in the comic book room, they “incorporate larger than life questions” that delve into themes revolving about “the meaning of life”. Pryor explains that very often the themes in their story, including those of fatherhood and love, “spark a lot of great conversations with [their] customers.” It is through this type of storytelling that they are able to get people thinking and talking about important topics.
The team building aspects of an escape room are incredibly helpful for friend groups and corporations alike. People have to work together in order to escape under a strict time limit. Pryor states that it is interesting “how much of a person’s psyche [the experience] reveals.” They must deal with situations that are lifelike, only more elaborate and condensed. It helps form problem solving skills, and brings out the personalities of different people in a safe place so that people can understand their friends better after they leave the room. These insights and formed skills allow for communities and friendships to grow in a fun and thoughtful way.
Pryor recounts a day that Clue Avenue had a group of truck drivers take on the escape room. This was followed by a group of literal rocket scientists. The interesting thing, he pointed out, was that it was the “truck drivers that kicked butt that day” and the scientists didn’t make it out. The experience calls for intelligence in problem solving, but Pryor explains it also requires teams to be “socially smart” and to have a strong sense of teamwork.
Clue Avenue Escape Room is offering readers of The Pelican News 20% off! Use the code THEPELICAN when booking your game at https://www.clueavenue.com for 20% off the price of your entire’s group tickets!
Photos provided by Clue Avenue Escape Room.