Posted by John Farrow on Oct 01, 2019
 
Claire joined us this morning to talk about Sherlock's Escapes, a relatively new type of escape room experience in Downtown Kingston, based on the works of Arthur Conan Doyle.  Claire began by telling us about her Rotary connection - in Ottawa, when she was 17, Claire was a Rotary exchange student in France!
 
Claire is a marketing consultant who works online for small businesses.  Sherlock’s Escapes is one of her clients, located in Downtown Kingston in the Lasalle Mews. There are several Sherlock Holmes themed rooms, and each room is an active story that you’re launched into the middle of – like you’re in the centre of a board game and you must figure out clues to move from room to room.  There are puzzles, locks, hidden passageways and doors, and lots of laughter and good times for everyone are guaranteed!  Sherlock's has 4 physical escape rooms, 2 portable rooms and a pop up room.  Soon they will be travelling to Thailand to participate in a retreat using an entire hotel as a themed escape.  Sherlock's also partners with corporations on team-building retreats.
 
Escape Rooms are a large challenge to market because you can’t show what they look like, and each room is only good for one experience, assuming you solve the puzzle and don't need to come back to try again. To help, they’ve rebranded recently with a new logo, website, etc. and are trying harder to get the word out.  Sherlock's is also developing activities for kids to get them off the couch and interested in active fun.  Claire recently was drawing caricatures for kids using the escape rooms (she is also an artist and  currently has a show at The Elm Café!).  The experience is great for all ages - kids as young as 7 have come in with their grandparents.  Couples, families, and even Rotary Clubs can try it! They also travel to parties, weddings, etc. and run puzzle games (dress up style) for up to 100 people.  As soon as you enter, you're in Sherlock’s lounge!
 
Escape Rooms started in Japan – where they are a little more computerized than here in Canada (walking around a room and clicking on consoles for clues).  Escape room implementation here is more social and interactive.
 
Questions:
What are the safety/insurance implications?  Many! The Fire Marshall loves us. So everyone's safety is guaranteed, there’s always an open door.
What’s your success rate? About 20%.  If you get out in time, you feel REALLY good!  And we want you to come back and try again, so we don’t tell you the solution if you fail. 25 minutes is the record!
 
Claire was thanked for her presentation by John Farrow with a (unlocked) loaf of bread.
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