Pay $28 to Get Locked in a Room

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Posted in category Bubble Economy

In a bubble, unsustainable business models become epidemic. This one is no exception. A brick-and-mortar escape game.

A new downtown Detroit business will charge people $28 to be locked in a room with strangers for an hour. To escape, they must solve a series of increasingly difficult riddles.

Only about 20% of players in this game are expected to finish the puzzles and make it out before time expires, said Victor Blake, 33, founder and CEO of New York-based Escape the Room, which will open its 11th U.S. location this Friday at 1030 Randolph in the Brush Street Garage.

“What better way to meet people than to get locked up with them?,” Blake said.

Escape the Room is a fast-growing player in the market of real-life ”room escape” games, which has taken off in recent years in cities across the globe.

I can think of far more inexpensive and pleasant ways to “meet people.” It might be a valid concept for some of the rank and file because it panders to the appetite for constant stimulation and amusement, but such a business would not be a rapidly-expanding fad without a Keynesian-ified economy addicted to fiscal stimulants. Escape Hunt is another company that offers franchising opportunities so customers can rack up charges on their credit cards to play escape games that can be found on the Internet for free.

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