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Escape Rooms soaring in popularity

Nearly two dozen have popped up across the county
Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 21:53:06-05
PACIFIC BEACH, Calif. - Looking to do something unique this weekend? If you like problem-solving, puzzles, and a race against time. 
 
The first Escape Room opened in San Diego about two years ago. 
 
Today, the trend is growing faster than ever with nearly two dozen locations across the county.
 
At Quicksand Escape Games in Pacific Beach,
 
“Every room is unique. Every puzzle in the room is unique and it's definitely a sense of accomplishment,” said Owner Greg Sanders.
 
He led our group down a path to the room that looked like something straight out of a Stanley Kubrick movie. Each room has a theme.
 
“Your job is to rob the local diner and get out before the police nab you,” Sanders explained.
 
A colorful 50s diner was the setting for this great escape. After some quick instructions.
 
“This is the monitor I talked about where the hints come up, timer counts down,” Sanders said.
 
With an hour on the clock, our search for clues began. We found numbers, patterns, puzzles, and lots of locks.
 
“You go out and drink a couple of beers and it's like, ‘ok, that night's over,’ but with this, it's like we won or we didn't win and we need to go avenge ourselves,” Sanders said. “My wife and I have probably played 50-plus now.”
 
That's when they decided to open their own a year ago.
 
“It just sort of clicked with us and we figured out we're actually pretty good at it,” Sander said. “People put their phones away, and I think that's a rare hour where they have no connection to the outside world.”
 
All kinds of people have tried making their escape.
 
“Corporate groups come in a lot for team building activities,” he said. "We had a 10-year- old, one time. It was his idea to come and he was just running circles around his parents.”
 
“When you feel like you're going to give up, somebody will say something and then, it kind of sparks another direction,” said Adolfo Moreno 
 
But the real key is teamwork.
 
“About 80 percent of teams either get out within the last five minutes or need a theoretical five minutes more,” Sanders said.
 
Sanders says the record for his Escape Room is 35 minutes, but that was a group of seasoned escape gamers.
 
You can play with three to eight people and prices range from $26-$33 per person.
 
To check it out for yourself, click here.