Escape Room locks up downtown space


The Great Escape Room is a game that places contestants in a locked room with clues on how to get out. Photo via

You’re locked in a room. How do you escape?

That’s the basic premise behind the mystery/scavenger challenge of The Great Escape Room.

The business offers a room-based game for adults, teens and groups that puts contestants inside a locked room they must escape in 60 minutes by solving puzzles and finding hidden clues within the room. Ages 12 and up are recommended for the challenge.

The Great Escape Room, which has one Michigan location in Royal Oak, will be opening a new location this summer in downtown Grand Rapids in a roughly 4,000-square-foot space in the Masonic Temple, at 233 Fulton St. E. Free on-site parking will be available. The space was formerly occupied by Spectrum Health.

There will be renovation work done on the space, but no contractor has been selected.

Casey Winn, assistant manager at the Royal Oak location and spokesperson for the company, said the location will try to accommodate the needs of groups “by crafting the event specifically for them,” including the availability of business meeting space, a board room and catering.

“Fostering a shared enjoyable experience is our goal for all of our guests,” she said.

Room styles

Winn said the Grand Rapids’ Great Escape Room will initially have two styles of escape rooms to choose from, with a third option following later.

The rooms will also change on a regular basis to keep the clues and experience fresh and challenging.

“Our current escape rate is approximately 22 percent, so you can tell that everyone needs to bring their best strengths to help themselves and their partners escape,” Winn said.

The location’s first game configuration will consist of two identical rooms set up as Sherlock's study, Winn said. Each room will accommodate 10-12 contestants and can be used individually by a group working against the clock or as competition rooms, with groups in both rooms competing again each other and the clock.

The location’s second room will be Sherlock's Game Room and open shortly after the grand opening. Winn said the room will be “an entirely different experience with different clues and results.”


The Grand Rapids location has hired a management team and is hiring monitors and room captains to oversee the experience.

The location will also have part-time jobs available for $10 an hour, according to its Facebook page.

Florida roots

The Great Escape Room, which originated in Orlando, Fla., also has Florida locations in Orlando, Miami and Tampa.

The company is planning locations for Chicago, Jacksonville, Fla. and Washington, D.C.

The Great Room Escape has received positive reviews on sites like Yelp, Facebook and TripAdvisor.

“It’s amazing how a weekly puzzle game shared among college students has become such a fast growing, team building, fun-time experience across America,” said Howard Sakowitz, founder, The Great Escape Room. 

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