I vaguely remember several years ago hearing about a place in Boston where you get locked in a room and have to figure how to get out.
I was intrigued, but not enough to go to Boston to find out more. We then saw a TV show called “Race to Escape”. We saw four episodes, but it must have been canceled. It featured two identical rooms, one red, one blue, and two teams trying to escape. Now I am interested.
During the summer of 2016, my boss took her team out to an escape room in Manchester. We all had a great time and only needed a few extra minutes to escape. It was the first Escape Room for all of us except one. After that my wife and I played several rooms, often just the two of us. Later our son joined us. Eventually, I decided that this is something I could do as a side business.
I started looking for locations. I started in Manchester. I found a great spot. I would need to get a variance for that location and the landlord was not willing to wait, so he leased the space to someone else. I looked at places in Nashua, Milford, Merrimack, and Amherst — none of them were a good fit.
We tried to find a good name for the business. I first liked ‘Get Out’. We went through many names. Eventually, my son came up with Break Free 603.
April 24, 2017 our Break Free 603, LLC was formed.
I then found a space in Bedford. Eventually we had to give up on that space since the fit up would have been too expensive. That was the time we found the space in Heritage Place.
On May 1,2017 through May 3, I was attending the Escape Room Conference at Niagara Falls, NY. I attended many lectures and exhibits on the show floor. It was there I met the person that had been running a da Vinci room at their location in Arizona and was selling the idea to other escape room companies. I met a person in Florida who had bought the room concept and liked it. I purchased the da Vinci Room concept. They provided a download with how the games plays, a clue map, ideas where to purchase items needed, the theme music, etc.
There were several things I did not like about how their version of the game so I changed them. Their theme was that you were in da Vinci’s workshop and had LED candles for lighting. That gave bad lighting and all the furnishings in the room looked too modern to be from the late 1400s to early 1500s. I changed my theme to be a modern office of an Art History Professor who happened to be interested in da Vinci. Now I could have good lighting and my furniture would be believable.
On May 1, 2017 our lease for the first 1500 square feet started.
On August 14, 2017 we got our final inspection that allowed us to open to the public. On Aug 23, we had our first paying customers playing the da Vinci room.
On November 16, 2017 we hired our first employee, Drew.
On November 1, 2017 we started our lease for another 1500 square feet.
Our second adventure, “The Last Will of Uncle Joe” opened Feb 3, 2018. It will be followed by more adventures for a total of 5 to 6 adventures.