PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Many of us love to escape.
“It really brings a lot more flavor to the downtown area, I love that,” said Gregg Miller, owner of Escape Manor on Harrison Ave. “The escape room business – it brings people together. It connects families together. It gets you interacting with each other.”
Miller took over the business in October after running escape rooms in Idaho for a few years.
“I’ve always enjoyed puzzles and escape rooms and doing a lot of extravagant things with puzzles all my life,” said Miller.
Basically, an escape room puts a group of people in a locked room and through puzzles, riddles, and clues they solve together, they try and find their way out.
"I love the people that come in and they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t think this is my thing, but I’m doing it because of them [their friends.]’ And those people usually are the ones who are engaged the most,” said Miller.
The Escape Manor has two rooms, The Attic which has a medium difficulty level, and The Asylum, which is much harder to escape from.
“And both rooms, they’re unique experiences," said Miller. "They each tell a unique story.”
Teams like the one we followed on this night are given periodic clues throughout the adventure and have 60 minutes to escape. Miller says the success rate is only about 30 percent.
“You’re talking to the other person across the room, ‘Hey, do you know what this is?’” said Miller.
Escaping does require logic, intuition, patience, and a lot of teamwork.
“It was very exciting, a team effort," said player and escapee Amanda Smith of Panama City. "I enjoyed, you know, being able to watch my friends also figure out the puzzles and see their brains thinking, so that was exciting.”
The team we followed made it out with more than 12 minutes to spare.
“I hadn’t done an escape room before, so honestly it was pretty awesome," said Vince Gay of Panama City. "I didn’t know what I was sort of getting into. I like that there was actually a story behind it [the escape.]”
So how did it feel to get out?
“A relief that I was going to get to see my family again,” said Gay to a roar of laughter from his friends.
“I loved it," said Smith. "It was really exciting, thrilling!”
Escape Manor is open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. by appointment only. For more information, we have a link to their website attached to this story.