Getting locked in a room for an hour might, at first glance, be something you don’t want to pay to do. When the room in question is a saloon, that makes the idea markedly better. And when what you’re doing in that hour is looking for thousands of dollars of ill-gotten gains from an illicit poker game, well, I’m all for it.
That’s the premise behind Exit Escape Room Adventures, the newest escape room business in Modesto. It opened on St. Patrick’s Day on Coffee Road.
Phillip Green, the owner, started as a fan.
“I’ve been to 40 or 50 escape rooms,” he said. “My daughter (Kailey, 10) loves them.”
Though escape rooms have been burgeoning in popularity in recent years, Green says his biggest hurdle is still letting people know what exactly they are.
“I’ll wear the shirt and people will say, ‘What is that?’ ” he said. “They think it’s a panic room.”
Instead of a room in your house where you go when you feel fearful, escape rooms are where you go outside your house when you’re looking for fun and adventure.
Groups of up to eight people are locked in the room and given a task or a mystery to solve. In this case, the story is that the saloon keeper, Mike, hosts an illegal poker game and $10,000 in winnings is hidden in the room. Participants have an hour before the saloon keeper and his fellow poker players arrive to find the money and get out of the room. During that time, they have to uncover clues and piece them together.
The room is equipped with cameras and microphones, so those who need a clue or two or seven can get them from operators.
Green said it’s been a popular venue for team-building and birthday celebrations. Though most participants are adults, “We had a 3-year-old in here,” he said. He gave the child a walkie-talkie and may have offered a couple of extra clues that way.
Those who are triumphant — and many who are not — can take photos afterward with props sharing their success. Or placing the blame for their failure.
Admission is $25 per person, with discounts for larger groups and businesses.
Though only open a couple of months, Green is planning to expand. He will open a second escape room with a theme similar to the movie “National Treasure.” In this case, someone will steal the Constitution and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find it.
You have an hour.