Be Your Own Ethan Hunt--Eureka Room

Owner: Jesse Stanton

Why Bellingham? “Bellingham has a lot of creative people who aren't afraid to try something new.  Those are the kinds of people I like to hang out with but are also the core market for this business.”

Favorite shop downtown? Henderson’s Books and Everyday Music

It all starts on the corner of Commercial and Magnolia Street outside Taco Lobo where participants anxiously await their mission contact with only a rolled up newspaper in their left hand to identify themselves. For fanatics of Mission Impossible or extreme brainteasers, this may be right up your alley.

The Eureka Room is the first of its kind in Bellingham, a real-life escape room game. There are five just in Seattle alone, with crafty names like Enigma Studio and Sherlocked. Hundreds more of these exist across the United States, popularized from escape video games like the “Legend of Zelda” and brought into a whole new dimension of entertainment.  

Owner Jesse Stanton found Bellingham to be the perfect place to bring such a business, seeing the large success they’ve received in big cities like Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle. “The first time I ever read about room escape games my immediate reaction was that this was something that needed to come to Bellingham,” he said. “When I realized no one else had done it yet I thought I could take it upon myself to bring it here.”

Jesse said that often times entertainment is usually one-way and lacks an ability for interactivity, whereas the Eureka Room is a fully immersive form of entertainment that allows participants to be “the star of the show for that hour”. He rented a modest space out from friends--who own the neighboring design firm Ketchup+Mustard--and began his mission of creating both a challenging and fun mystery.

“One of the first things I did when I decided to start this business was to head straight into Henderson's and buy every interesting-looking book of riddles or puzzles I could get my hands on,” he said. After working for more than about two months to piece together each clue into the plotline, Jesse has successfully bamboozled participants the last six months.

Made up of more than a dozen different complex riddles, the Eureka Room is no easy feat to accomplish in a single hour. Failure to beat the room is a real possibility and Jesse sees about one out of every three groups succeed. One of the most rewarding moments for Jesse is witnessing that thrill of elation when a group figures out the last piece of the puzzle with just a minute or two to spare.

Think your friends or family have what it takes to escape? Visit their website today to schedule your escape room experience! 

Today's blog post was written by Marketing Intern Ashley Conradi.