We’ve doubled our staff. We’re moving. We’re upgrading our puzzles. We’ll be closed for a while. There’s a lot going on at Escape New Haven:
Moving Up, Moving Out
Our lease at 111 Whitney has expired, and the landlord has sold the building. Fortunately, we were able to find a space almost next door, at 103 Whitney — and it’s about 50% larger than the old one! If we’re approved for the space, that will allow us to do a lot of exciting new things:
- Add a fourth game space. We can use this space to build a second “copy” of the Space Station, which will allow groups of up to 16 players to split into two teams of 8 and compete against each other in a “race to escape.”
- Enlarge our lobby. We’re aware that the old lobby could start to feel a little… cozy… with a full house of 19 players. The new lobby is significantly larger, and will have seating — not just standing room — for over 20 players. We will also be staggering our games into two 2-game shifts, starting a half-hour apart, which means that for most normal games (excluding private bookings) there will be fewer people occupying this new, larger space.
- Redesign each game. We’ve added a full-time engineer to our staff in order to re-design our scenarios for the new location. Some of the scenarios will be changing very little — in the Crypt, for example, there will only be a slight change to the decor and puzzle mechanics — but others, like the Space Station and the Gallery (our new-and-improved remake of an Escape New Haven original, “The Studio”), will be debuting some exciting new puzzles and effects.
- Triple our staffing per shift. We’re really excited about this change for a lot of reasons. First of all, each group is going to get more face time with their operator — and as you know, we have some fantastic operators on our team. Second, we’ll have someone on each shift whose entire job is to reset, clean, maintain, and repair the venue. (This will take a lot of pressure off of the operators, because running a business like ours is a constant battle against entropy: we’ve gotten a lot better over the past year and a half at making our puzzles and props more robust, but… let’s face it… some of our players are just really good at breaking things.) Third, faster turnaround times on each escape will allow us to offer more escapes on popular days (especially weekends), which means we’ll be more available for short-notice (or even day-of) bookings.
Unfortunately, we’re going to need some downtime to make the move. We’ve been working for two months now (re-imagining the lobby, re-designing puzzles, etc), but there’s still more to be done. We need the full team, and some of our equipment from the old venue, to make it happen. There’s also a lot of uncertainty stemming from the City of New Haven: we’ve gotten mixed messages from them so far, and if the approvals we need are delayed or denied, that may push back our opening date or limit what we’re able to do.
Ultimately, we hope to re-open in October. But until we have more certainty on the regulatory side of things, we won’t be able to open up our booking calendar. If you’d like to be the first to know when tickets go back on sale, join our mailing list! And if you’d like to subscribe to our blog (updates every 1-2 weeks), you can do that at the bottom of our News page.
Thanks for supporting us, telling your friends/family/neighbors/coworkers/pets, and being willing to try something new. More importantly, thanks for being so excited about the Escape experience. We thrive off the enthusiasm you radiate both before and after you’ve played — whether you’ve escaped or not! We hope you’ll be patient with us as we upgrade ourselves into “Escape 2.0”: bigger, better, and more available.
See you again soon,
— The Escape New Haven Team
(Tara, Adam, Jhon, Angela, Len, David, Max, and Ethan)