Today we’d like to introduce you to
Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My background is in acting and directing and for the past 12 years, I have worked in the Tourism and Hospitality industry in Chicago for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises as a Boat Captain, Group Sales Coordinator, and their Private Charter Fleet Manager. In 2014, I was driving to work and was T-boned by a vehicle that ran a red light. What doctors thought at first, was a bruised elbow turned into elbow reconstruction surgery. On September 25 (a day before my 33rd birthday), I underwent surgery and I was out of commission for 5 months. During that time, I was searching to get back to my theatre roots but, I did not know in what fashion I wanted to do that in. In September of 2015, I did my first escape room and that’s when it hit me. This still young form of entertainment was the perfect mix of people communicating, actors, sets, lights, sound effects, props and it put the audience member in the role of the actor. From gorking in private events, I know how difficult it was to get a group of people in what place at a time so that is why, I decided to start MOBILE Room Escape. We custom built a 32-foot trailer that was heated, cooled, insulated and self powered so, we could bring the escape room to the people. We travel all around Chicago and the US bringing team building, and the fun of the escape room to our audience.
In 2016, after many inquiries from other companies wanting to start Mobile Escape Rooms, we started building Mobile Escape Room’s for other business’s. Today, you can find out Mobile Escape Rooms not only in Chicago, but in Central Florida, Atlanta Georgia, Bran, MO, Seattle, Washington, Nashville, TN.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting any new business from scratch has major hurdles to over come. Our first 6 months, we were stationed outside a shopping mall selling tickets. We made very little money at this and had very expensive rent. Being very active in the day to day, I learned that while other escape rooms thrive at selling tickets to customers that come to them, our uniqueness is that we come to people. We ended our contract with the mall and focused on private events such as birthdays, team buildings, school and camp groups, girl scouts and boy scout troops, adult block parties and we set up at fairs and festivals. The fairs and festivals brought us tons of public following and our theme park quality escape rooms spread quickly in the Chicagoland area by word of mouth. By month 7, we really started to see our calendar book up and had to start expanding the business and creating new games.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mobile Room Escape – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Mobile Room Escape was one of the first escape room’s in the US that brings the escape room fun to our clients. Live Action Escape Rooms originated in Japan and made there way to the US about 7 years ago. The original idea was locking a group of people in a room for an hour and giving them a bunch of puzzles, riddles, and obstacles they have to work together to solve and escape out of the room. Today, most companies have gotten away from the idea of locking people in a room (which scared off a lot of customers) and giving them other challenges to succeed at such as saving the world or finding a hidden treasure.
Most escape rooms set up shop in a mall, strip, mall, warehouse or office building. Our escape rooms come to our patrons. We have 32′ trailers that are climate controlled and the escape room pulls up directly to our patrons home, business, or local park.
Part of what sets us apart from other escape rooms is the fact that we are a travelling escape room which is unique in its self, we cater to both young kids and adults (we are a family run business with the goal of getting parents and their children communicating and having fun together) and the quality of our rooms surpass the original idea of just putting a bunch of locks on cabinets. We have set, lighting, and a/v designers along with working with the best technology in the escape room industry to make the customers experience as immersive as visiting their local theatre.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The past years have seen our business grow with our expansion of more mobile escape rooms in Chicago and starting up in Georgia as well. We have also since August of 2016 been building and designing Mobile Escape Room trailers and games for other clients. While we are excited about our growth, we really try to focus on the business one day at a time and make sure that our each of our clients has an amazing escape room experience. Our number goal is to exceed our customers expectations. We try to this daily with great communication, upgrading our products and learning more and more about this ever evolving industry. We are seeing more requests from major government agencies and the entertainment industry about creating escape rooms for them to use in recruitment and promotions. While I can’t discuss too much about it now, we have a couple of very big escape room clients lined up for their mobile escape room created by Mobile Room Escape.