Elizabethton Escape opens in downtown on Monday

Published 5:42 pm Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Are you good at solving riddles? Do you enjoy figuring out where the clues lead you? If so, you will soon have the chance to see if you’ve got what it takes to solve the puzzle and escape before time runs out.

As escape rooms continue to gain popularity in tourist areas and are expanding out into other areas, local husband-and-wife team Scott and Jessica Bowers is bringing the fun and excitement to their hometown.

On Monday, Elizabethton Escape will open its doors at 526 E. Elk Avenue in historic downtown Elizabethton.

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Scott Bowers said he and his wife have visited other escape rooms and wanted to bring the entertaining activity to Elizabethton. For over a year now, the couple has been researching escape room businesses and making a plan for their own adventures.

An escape game is an interactive, live-action group activity where the participants must work as a team to solve puzzles, find clues and unlock their way to victory. The team-mates enter the game scenario and have 60 minutes to “escape” the rooms.

To start off with, Elizabethton Escape will offer two different escape story lines, each featuring two separate rooms which participants must escape from in order to solve the puzzle.

When planning their escape stories, the Scott and Jessica decided to go with a multi-room approach.

“We like the multi-room better,” Scott said. “We’ve played both single rooms and multi-rooms.”

Scott and Jessica each designed their own escape storyline for the business.

Scott’s is titled “Swamp Fever.” In that story, participants are on a hunt to find the treasure buried by Lucius Nave at his home in the Louisianna swamp. However, the team isn’t the only one after the money, and they only have one hour to find it before their competition shows up to steal the treasure out from under their noses.

Jessica named her story “Abducted,” and it centers around the team being kidnapped while hiking on the Appalachian Trail in northeast Tennessee.  The team overhears their captors and learns they are leaving but will return in one hour. The team must work together to escape before their kidnapper return to send them to an uncertain fate.

When creating the stories, Scott said it is essential to provide the right atmosphere for the rooms to add to the experience. To that end, Scott and Jessica put together a collection of items that add to the ambiance of each story. It was also important to both of them that they support other local businesses as they launched their own.

“We’ve used nothing that didn’t come from here,” Scott said. Many of the props came from stores in downtown Elizabethton, while others came from other shops throughout the county, he said. Scott and Jessica used local businesses to get their signs, banners, and posters as well.

While many escape rooms don’t change out their story lines, Scott said he and Jessica plan to change out stories, particularly for holidays.

Scott, who serves as Carter County Historian, said he has plans in the future to incorporate some local legends into the stories, particularly for Halloween. In December, Scott said one of the stories will give participants the chance to rescue Santa Clause and save Christmas. “That’s going to be a real fun one,” Scott said.

Elizabethton Escape will open on Monday and will be open every day for their first full week. After that, the business will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. – 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until 11:15 p.m., and on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tickets will be $17 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Participants are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes early to the scheduled start time to review rules for the game and sign their waiver.

The two escape stories will alternate start times, so Scott and Jessica recommend you visit their website at www.elizabethtonescape.com, check their Facebook page, or call ahead at 423-518-1388 to find out which game is set at which time.