Reopening your Escape Room as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease
What makes a great Escape Room location?
Location, location, location – as with any business, the placing of your Escape Room can have a big impact on footfall, attractiveness to customers and overall profitability.
Which begs the question, where exactly should you be?
As with all business advice, the answer largely depends on your business plan – in this case hinging on the themes of your rooms, your budget, external obligations and the location options available to you. Here are The Insurance Centre’s recommendations on what to consider before you choose…
From stately libraries to abandoned warehouses, finding an old building in disuse can be a goldmine when it comes to creating atmosphere and authenticity. Original features also offer potential for lots of different themes, from the spooky to the historical.
Remember you may need planning permission to convert a building into an Escape Room, depending on its previous use. If a structure is in disrepair, consider whether it is safe – carry out a full survey and conduct a health and safety inspection, and factor building work costs into your budget, or risk being liable for public injuries.
A city centre location would make your business easy to find and offers copious advertising potential, which can help beat the competition in an ever-growing marketplace.
Consider your guest’s experience from start to finish – how will they arrive? Is there any free parking, or are you close to a train station? City centre property can also be more expensive for your business to rent.
Outdoor locations can offer new puzzle opportunities and put a different spin on the game. You could even incorporate a mobile phone app using augmented reality, such as that made popular by Pokémon Go.
Consider a contingency plan for severe weather – this is the UK, after all. Using a public space can also raise insurance issues, and mean both other people getting in the way of players and players causing inconvenience to the public. A private yard or field may be the way to go if you want to take it outside.
Buy or rent?
Buying a property gives you much more control over any adaptations you need to make to a building’s structure or interiors than renting does.
The obvious problem is budget and how much you want to invest in your business. Renting can be a safer option while you get your Escape Room up and running.
Whether you rent or own property, you will need to arrange accurate liability insurance to run a safe and legal Escape Room.