All it took was one escape room experience for Chris Fuss and his wife Carolyn to become hooked.
“The first time we played was in Calgary about three years ago. Immediately we both said, ‘We need to bring this to Prince Albert.’ We became obsessed by the whole experience and began researching different concepts. It took two years to bring this project to life, but that is where it all started,” said Fuss.
Now, Chris and his wife, his sister Renae and her husband Nick Smith, own and operate the 2018 Prince Albert BOB Award winner for ‘Best New Business’ – District 8 Escape.
“It’s something different and unique, especially around Prince Albert,” said Fuss. “People are looking for alternate forms of entertainment and that’s why the industry is becoming more popular.”
Escape rooms are live action adventure games where players have 60 minutes to find clues, complete puzzles and open locks to solve a mystery and escape. Game play requires teamwork, leadership, organization, creativity, problem solving, and communication.
Growing up in Prince Albert, Fuss said his family always played board games and cards. So, it made sense to run the business with his sister who shared similar interests. Renae and Nick run the day-to-day operations of District 8 Escape, while Chris and Carolyn are the creative team handling the storylines, game designs and puzzle creations.
Escape rooms are popular choices for businesses looking for a fun teambuilding exercise. Other clients include splurge groups, sports teams and couples looking for an escape from the mundane nightlife. More families are also starting to enjoy the popular experience.
Currently, they have three different escape room themes with a fourth room in the works. In one scenario, the group becomes a part of a police investigation trying to solve a series of murders. In another room, teams are looking to steal a secret recipe for a wine that will keep them youthful forever. One of their most popular rooms is the creepy ‘Black Cove Motel.’ Perhaps the most exciting adventure is yet to come. District 8 Escape is launching a citywide escape tour in late September.
“It’s going to take you to several spots throughout the city and will be automated through your cell phone,” said Fuss.
The tour is part of a partnership with the City of Prince Albert and is largely tied to the arts and culture community.
In addition to winning the BOB award for ‘Best New Business’ for 2018, District 8 Escape also picked up BOB awards this year for ‘Best Locally Owned Shop’ and ‘Best Tourist Attraction.’
District 8 Escape is located at 5-3041 Sherman Drive in Prince Albert. Check out their Facebook page here.
Prince Albert, SK S6V 7B7
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