USA Amusement Centers
My fellow Hounds and Sherlockians (Holmesians, Doyleans, etc…):
There are a new series of amusement centers being opened around the USA. They are called "The Great Escape Room" and they offer a variety of amusing "Problems" for solution by groups. At present, Centers are open in Orlando and Miami, Florida and in Royal Oak, Michigan. New centers are planned in Washington, D.C. and Tampa, Florida and plans are underway for centers in Chicago, Illinois, Grand Rapids, Michigan and other sites as well. Centers consist of a selection of game "Rooms," each of which offers a problem in observation, cooperation and logic to the group admitted to the room. Each group is made up of ten or more persons, selected beforehand by agreement or chosen from arrivals at the time the room opens. Each group is accompanied by an on-site monitor who will present the problem and provide occasional guidance or comments. Each group is allowed only one hour to solve the problem successfully and to discover how to exit the room. So far, only about 20% of groups have succeeded in leaving the rooms before the hour is up, so the problems presented are NOT simple.
The first room made available in all new centers is "The Library" and others are added as the traffic and site construction warrant. The current problem offered in "The Library" is to evaluate whether the entering group have the talents and intelligence needed by "The Great Detective" to aid him in his coming conflict with "The Professor." Other rooms present other problems. As rooms are added to each center, the same problem will be presented in similar rooms at each location. As time goes on, it is planned gradually to replace problems with different scenarios at all similar rooms.
The current "Library" scenario seems made to fit the talents and interests of Sherlockian groups and Management have indicated their willingness to keep track of times achieved by various groups, especially if those groups have common interests. Discounts are available for planned group outings (minimum, 10 persons) and for weekday scheduled attempts. Most sites are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday with attempts scheduled at 2-hour intervals. Further, most sites are also open one weekday evening as well.
Information on the chain is available at "thegreatescaperoom.com".
If you live near a center or plan to travel near one, check with local Sherlockian groups to see if you can participate in a group exercise arranged in advance. It could be an interesting experience.
Philip K. Jones
An Ill-dressed Vagabond