Blackpool has a new attraction which aims to capture visitors’ imaginations as they race against time to escape a puzzles room.
Premier Escapes has opened in Lytham Road with the promise of mysteries to solve and brainteasers to crack in a series of themed rooms.
Owner John Cutler said the escape rooms format was becoming hugely popular in the UK after coming over from the Far East.
He said: “It is great fun. Each room has a different theme and is completely different from all the others.
“The idea orignally came from escape games on computers and from TV programmes like the Crystal Maze.
“You are in teams of four or five and you have a series of puzzles to solve in an hour before you escape the room.
“There is a backstory to each room. We have a laboratory, a prison kidnap scenario and a Da Vinci room.
“It is for 10-year-olds and older. Quite often you find with families it is the kids that suss it out first because the parents over-think the puzzles. But there are different levels of difficulty and there should be something for everybody. These are very popular with businesses as they like to hold their corporate team building events there.
“It gets people working together in various situations to solve problems and it’s a fun day out.
“They often have teams competing against each other on the same room and then give points for the number of clues or puzzles they complete.”
But despite being called an escape game, John said none of the rooms are ever locked to reassure people who might be uncomfortable or have claustrophobia.
He said: “The idea is to escape through solving the puzzles but the teams can back out at any time. We give them the backstory before hand and then have a de-briefing session afterwards.”
John, who also runs Premier Cabs, said they had been planning the attraction for some time and began work on converting the building in December.
He said: “It used to be a mobility shop but we bought the building ready for the franchise and were ready to open this month.”