INTERVIEW- Ron Subaba of Epic Escape Game – ESCAPE ROOM

Please introduce yourself and your role in the business.

My name is Ron Subaba and I am the Co-Founder of Epic Escape Game. I oversee all operations for all of our locations, game design and franchise development.

Why did you decide to get involved in the escape room industry?

In 2014, my partner Michelle Fleming and I were on vacation in Nashville and came across an escape room. We played the game with three other people and was amazed on how well the game played out and the story unfolded each time we opened a lock. The whole experience was immersive like we never experienced and we decided right then that we needed to get into this industry. Upon returning home, I researched the escape room industry and found there were only a handful of companies operating in the United States and none in the Denver area. We immediately began setting up shop, leasing an old mansion and installed five escape rooms. Since then, we’ve opened a location in Phoenix and brought on 4 franchises in Englewood, CO, Grand Junction, CO, Cheyenne, WY and our newest location in Muncie, IN.

What makes your rooms unique?

First of all, every escape room we design and build will not challenge our social morals. So we do not have any rooms where you must rob a bank, steal from a museum or anything along those lines. Many of our customers are families with children or corporate team building events and we do not want to send the wrong message. Secondly, we put a lot of emphasis on the story line and how immersive our escape rooms are. As players progress in the game, the story is reinforced and continues to unfold. Similar to a good book or movie, players get to experience the story through their game play. Thirdly, we do not duplicate any of our escape rooms or puzzles. We currently have five locations with a total of 20 unique and different escape rooms. This encourages our players to visit all of our locations knowing what level of service and quality we provide, all the while playing a new escape room.

What do you think is the most important part of an escape room design?

The story line, puzzles and production value (sound, lighting and décor) are all equally important aspects when designing an escape room. However the most important part of designing an escape room is how well you intertwine these aspects together. Every décor item in the room must support the storyline, all the puzzles must be relevant to the room and reveal more of the story along the way and the story must be intriguing enough to capture players’ attention when they are deciding which escape room facility to choose.

Please share with us a fun story that has happened with your company.

I got a call from a gentleman who wanted to surprise his girlfriend with an engagement ring in one of the puzzles while they play one of our escape rooms. He had arrived early and secretly gave me the ring so that I can place it in a puzzle about half way through the game. As soon as the girlfriend opened the locked puzzle and noticed the engagement ring, the boyfriend was on one knee and proposed to her in front of all the other players. Everyone was so happy for them and to top it off they successfully escaped the room. I was honored that we could share in their important occasion.

What advice do you have for players?

To have fun. This is fun activity that allows players to bond in special way. Parents are proud to see their kids figure out a difficult puzzle, kids are surprised that their parents aren’t as dumb as they thought and co-workers find new respect for their team mates when they come up with new ways of thinking to solve puzzles.  

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to thank all of the players who have shared their experience with their friends, family and co-workers as well as those who have given us an honest review of our rooms. Because of your feedback and referrals we were able to grow into the company we are today. One motto I tell all of our employees is “the most important person in the company is the customer, without them we are nothing”.

 

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