Tonight, Team La Porte County Life saved the world with 17 minutes and 25 seconds to spare, and that’s all we can really say in detail about the goings-on inside the newly opened Escape Room LaPorte.
But let’s back up before we hurt ourselves with the back-patting. (Being heroes is hard, folks. Really hard. And apparently so is being humble).
What the heck IS Escape Room LaPorte anyway?
Anyone who goes through this highly entertaining experience might have their own description. We’re going with: The antheses of every whining child or teen (or adult) who says in that high-pitched voice: There’s nothing to doooo in La Porte!
Oh, there’s something to do. There’s definitely something to do.
“This is the only thing you can find that is just as fun for a group of people in their 50s as it is for a family of four with an 8 and 10-year-old,” said Ben Konowitz, owner and operator. “It’s truly an all ages experience.”
Dubbed a 60-minute (or less if you’re heroes like us) real-life adventure game, the inaugural Escape Room LaPorte is themed after the iconic Spy v/s Spy duo from Mad Magazine. Your group of between 2 and 8 people will gather in the lobby for some brief instructions, and then you’ll dig into your story line, as game master and general manager Katie Misiak reveals the mission ahead of you.
Then, you enter the room, turned loose on the myriad puzzles, locks, combinations, themes, and decoys with a hearty “Good luck!” before Misiak closes the door.
For real, though – you’re not locked in. At all. Fear not, you claustrophobes. By the time your team starts to uncover clues and figure things out, you’ll forget how you even feel about close quarters. And also for real – they’re not that close. The room has high ceilings and plenty of space even for the grump in the group to go sit in the corner, if that’s their fancy.
That didn’t happen with either Team La Porte County Life, though. At all.
Thanks to a generous offer from La Porte County Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), two teams from LaPorteCounty.Life had the escape room experience on Tuesday. One slayed (ours). The other solved the mystery, but with 6 minutes and 15 seconds to spare, compared to our 17:25. We’re always up for a little competition and unnecessary smack talk.
A team from LEAP also did the room for the first time today.
“That’s what I loved about this experience. It really opened my eyes to how this could be an absolutely perfect team building activity for any business of any size. It was a lot of fun,” said Bert Cook, Executive Director at LEAP. “There are so many different things to interact with in the room. It was exciting and really enjoyable.”
Both LaPorteCounty.Life teams can attest to that. When they first entered the room, it was relatively quiet as everyone strolled around looking for clues. By 10 minutes in, the room sounded like the Board of Trade before the closing bell. Lots of hoots, hollers, cheers, and instructions screamed loud and clear across the room as the we stormed the puzzles, each person using their personal skillset to solve a particular area.
“That’s one of my favorite things about watching the groups interact,” Misiak said. “Everyone’s personality comes into play in terms of how they work the room.”
Cook said his next step is to schedule his family for an escape room experience. He thinks the kids will love it.
Kayla Belec, contributing editor at LaPorteCounty.Life, was fascinated with the science of making a puzzle room. Misiak said some escape room operators will buy their room themes, stories, and equipment lock, stock and barrel. But not Escape Room LaPorte.
They took a theme and storyline, tested it, hated it, so they modified it heavily, enlisting the help of professionals such and electricians and engineers to enhance the experience.
“I wish my brain worked that way,” Belec said of the custom-built experience.
But don’t let her fool you. Belec was just as integral as her team members in solving the puzzles and landing the team on the leader board for their phenomenal time. In fact, everyone did their part, and we cheered and danced and high-fived when we finished.
Konowitz said the reception to Escape Room LaPorte has been good since it opened a month and a half ago, but the biggest challenge has been helping people understand what it is, without revealing the secrets.
“People have actually emailed us 3-4 days later and said how much everyone is still talking about it. The number one thing I’d love for people to know is that you’re not really locked in. It’s like all the fun, with zero risk. Other than that, you just have to come and experience it.”
Get thee to Escape Room LaPorte for stocking stuffers, too!
“What do you get people for Christmas who already have everything? You get them an experience,” Konowitz said.
Escape Room LaPorte has plans to open other rooms, including one with an exclusive La Porte theme, and one especially for date night. Dinner, Escape Room LaPorte, and drinks? It’s the perfect anecdote for those who feel like they’re stuck in the same old, same old.
Embrace something new, and shed that notion. And just TRY to beat our time. We dare you.
To schedule your Escape Room LaPorte experience visit them online at https://lpescape.com/#. You can even purchase gift cards right online.