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Escaping to Indoor Adventure

What do you do if your family is too active to sit around and play board games? According to Vanessa Roer, you spend a lot of time outdoors and then you open Flagstaff Escape Rooms with your husband.

She and Jacob opened the business six weeks ago and things are picking up steadily.

“We’ve had really good reviews and players have been happy and have had a good time,” she said.

She says that the Escape Room concept started in Japan, was then launched online across Europe, and then more recently came to the United States.

The object of the game is to be locked in a room and then through a series of clues, be able to open the door and emerge within an hour. Each room has a theme and a story. Players test their powers of observation, communication and deduction.

“You start looking for clues or keys to locks and combinations. As you unlock a clue, you find a lead to another clue,” she said.

She says a player can get out of the room any time they want to use the restroom and there is a game master watching the action from television screens so that the game stays safe. Also, if a player or players are stuck, the game master can help them and nudge them in the right direction. There is no part of the game that scares or startles.

But, she points out, the larger the group, the more likely they are to succeed.

“Teams of two rarely get out on time,” she said, adding that those who make it out within the hour get a photo and bragging rights.

On a recent night, a corporation rented the business to conduct team-building exercises.

“It was really fun,” said Maeghan Goldman, who “escaped” from a room about three months ago. “It made you think a little bit. To get a clue, you had to think it through and then build upon it.”

Goldman, 23, said she and a couple of friends participated. “We had a great time doing it. We made it through within the hour, but we had a little help. The staff helped us by giving us some clues.”

Players can opt to get three clues throughout the hour so it keeps people going rather than becoming frustrated.

“We started doing them [escape rooms] with our children,” Roer said. “We like to do adventurous types of things.”

Her children are ages 9, 12, 14, 14 and 18.

“We were looking for something to do and realized there is not a lot for children in our age group. We thought Flagstaff needs an escape room,” she said.

The game costs $25 per person. The business can be used for team building, bachelor or bachelorette parties, family reunions or just for as an adventure among friends. FBN

By Patty McCormac, FBN

The business is located at 1501 S. Yale. It is closed Monday and Tuesday. Reservations are required. For more information, call 928-774-0845 or visit




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