Josh Carr of Locked Escaped Rooms 14 Feb 2022
Keep your cool, crack the code and come out victorious – if you dare!
Challenging, thrilling and immersive, escape rooms have seen a huge rise in popularity since their arrival to the UK in 2012. Discreetly positioned in the centre of the city, is St Albans own escape rooms, set up by Josh Carr. We caught up with him to find out more about his growing business of puzzle busting escape games.
Tell us about the escape room experience
It’s a great game where groups of players discover clues, solve puzzles and work together to crack codes – all in 60 minutes. Every player gets to use their own powers of observation and problem solving. Plus, we create real drama as players feel they are IN the situation they are trying to solve. There is always panic, tension and laughter, plus a sense of achievement if they solve the mystery in time.
How did Locked Escape Rooms begin?
I set it up with my two best friends. We wanted to start a business together and we all enjoy the escape room experience. We knew we would work well together and set up the business almost 3 years ago. The 3 of us bring different skills to the venture and we opened our first site in Dunstable, followed by Luton and now St Albans.
Why did you choose St Albans for your latest opening?
St Albans is a great city with lots of families and people who like to be active, but there was a lack of indoor activities. We did our research and realised the escape room model would be a great asset here. We now employ 4 amazing staff at the site who are fantastic at bringing each experience to life.
And you have a great city centre location…
Yes, we have an amazing location so parents can drop their kids off at the weekend for an hour and go for a coffee or lunch – it is a great way to get kids off the X-Box! We offer the perfect extra hour for groups of friends before or after a meal and there are lots of local businesses who have enjoyed the rooms. With the car park next door, we couldn’t ask for a better spot.
What makes the experience such a success?
You just need two or more players. There are always people that are good at different puzzles so everyone can play their part. We like to think of it as a bit of a theatre show and players only know what is involved once the curtain rises. The anticipation is exciting and actor guides help immerse the players into the experience. If players get stuck, they can ask for clues.
Who are your customers?
It’s a real mixed bag. Typically, at the weekend we get families and teenagers who are mainly secondary school age. In the evenings we get groups of friends on a night out, and we also get birthday parties, corporate events, Scout groups and work parties. It transcends age, last week we had a team where the average age of the players was 72 years old -anyone can give it a go!
What did you do before this venture?
I have worked in video production for almost 15 years. My two business partners have experience in charity work and building which has proved to be the perfect mix for our venture.
Tell us more about the St Albans escape rooms
I can’t say too much but all 3 rooms are amazing. The atmosphere created in “The DIG” is brilliant, in “C.S.I Checked Out” players become crime scene investigators and if you want to take part in a major heist then “The Great Train Robbery” puts you right at the centre of the notorious gang.
How much is does an experience cost?
Prices start from £22 per person, depending on the size of the group. We also offer gift vouchers so if you are stuck for a present and are looking for something a little different, get in touch.
What are your plans for 2022?
We have lots of ideas for 2022 and beyond. We may open more rooms in new locations, as there aren’t many in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and we will definitely refurbish our existing rooms to create more amazing experiences at our current sites. We are growing all the time so watch this space!
To find out more about Locked Escape Rooms visit the shop at The Maltings Centre 22-23 Victoria St Albans AL1 3HL, call 01582 797793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.lockedescapes.com