The Central Fairfax Chamber's ribbon-cutting ceremony for grand opening of the Room Escape Fairfax, which specializes in mind-challenging games, was held on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at its location at 3949A University Drive, Fairfax.
Photo by Steve Hibbard.
Dozens of people attended the Central Fairfax Chamber's network mixer to christen the grand-opening of the Room Escape Fairfax, which specializes in mind-challenging games where players work together to successfully escape from rooms, on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at its location at 3949A University Drive, Fairfax.
The business is run by Egor Bond, 30, its founder and CEO who is originally from Siberia, Russia, and now resides in Falls Church with his wife Anna. The Fairfax location, which has been open since Oct. 8, 2015, employs a staff of 13 people, half of whom are GMU students.
Room Escape has six brightly decorated escape rooms with names like The Cure, The Frightful Feast, The Joker's Trap, Save the White House, Horror Room: Midnight Molly, and Escape from Venus: Game for Two. The concept is simple: groups of players will be trapped in a room filled with a variety of puzzles, hidden items, and surprises with one hour to solve the mystery of the game.
Bond said he has an in-house team that created the unique games that you won't find anywhere else. "The quality of the games is way higher than the average game on the market," he said. "We created an entirely new product which merges the science of psychology with escape rooms."
He continued, "These are mind-challenging games. We make you think outside the box. That means you have to pay attention; you have to communicate... The more efficient you play, the higher your chances to succeed."
THE ADVANTAGES of the games are that they improve communication and cooperation between groups, help with problem-solving and creative thinking, and build leadership.
"Overall, we do care about your overall experience, not really whether you escaped or not. We want you to have fun here," said Bond.
Junior Manager Donna Quintanilla said the goal is to promote teamwork and have everyone communicate throughout the challenge. "The end goal for the people who are playing is to escape from the room. Now, they have to solve a variety of puzzles, riddles, find clues, keys, codes, whatever it may be in order to find that goal and be able to exit the room."
She added, "What we find is that a lot of groups do really well when they all communicate and work together. So a lot of people say the teamwork is what makes the dream work and that is really what happens here."
To illustrate, in Save the White House, players search for a bomb, save the president and try to escape. In Survive the Joker's Trap, the best game for team building, players literally start chained to chairs. In Escape from Venus, players restart their spaceship's emergency power. It's perfect for two people. There's also a mobile game called Jail Bus where players avoid a life sentence by breaking out of the transfer bus. The bus actually drives to parties, work or events in the area.
THE ONE-HOUR GAMES can accommodate 6-10 people in one room or a 2.5 hour party of 33-50 guests in all of the rooms. Games are geared to all ages; and children as young as 6-12 can play versions of The Cure or Save the White House. Three more escape rooms will be added at the end of the year, including a Virtual Reality room, a KGB-themed room, and one theme still to be decided. The business is also expanding to include offices in Bethesda, Md., and Auckland, New Zealand by the end of the year.
Edward Bitzer, Managing Partner of Human Capital Works, which partners with Egor and his team, said "It's just playing a game, but when you pair it with the right facilitation, the right sort of self-exploratory assessments, it really creates a powerful learning experience that we're very confident will lead enhanced team productivity and organizational productivity."
The Room Escape Fairfax is located at 3949A University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. Call 703-865-4178. The website is www.RoomEscapeDC.com.