MENOMONEE FALLS - TeamEscape 262 owners Tony Resch and Steve Gill want to lock you in one of their rooms for an hour to see if you have what it takes to escape.
This is the first escape room business, located in Falls Plaza III on N80W14942 Appleton Ave., that will call Menomonee Falls its home; it will open Feb. 24.
There are three escape rooms that cater to ages 8 through 80: Cell Block @ Shawshank, Captain Maxwell's Shipwrecked and The Hidden Recipe, which was designed specifically for families with children.
The industry standard is that 50 percent of all people that play will escape; it's a complete game of critical thinking, so there are no physical challenges or activities. Plus, Resch said, while you are technically locked in, you can press a button in any room to let yourself out at any time.
“We have TV monitors, so we can see and hear everything people do in the room," Resch said. "The experience allows you to do a lot of critical thinking. In the family room, kids will have to use their maps skills, reading skills; it has a little bit of an educational side, but they won’t know it because it’s incorporated into the game. Memory is huge in this experience. It gives you a nice mental workout.”
The idea for this business first came from Resch's college roommate, Patrick Van Abel.
"We were freshmen together in 1986 at UW-Oshkosh," Resch said. "Patrick owns a number of businesses in Fox Valley. A year ago, one of his good friends told him to check out the escape rooms in Manchester, England, where this whole craze started. He picked up some pointers from Breakout Manchester and brought them back here. Patrick has a facility in Green Bay as well. They’ve been open since May, and they’re doing a really nice job. They’re a mile away from Lambeau Field.”
The Resch and Gill families are all Menomonee Falls residents.
"We’ve been neighbors for the past 17 years, and we're like family," Resch said. "We’re roughly the same age; our boys are pretty close in age. We have a lot in common, and we’re best friends, really. It’s a nice fit.”
Resch has coached youth sports in Menomonee Falls for 20 years, and his wife Stephanie has been a physical education teacher at Shady Lane Elementary for 23 years. Their passion for helping youth and high schools sports teams is channeled through Resch's other business, Raising the Steaks Fundraising & Leadership Development, but it was also built into the design of the two families' new endeavor.
"We started leadership roundtables with our coaches, so our program Dignify allows the coaches to identify their players' strengths and weaknesses," Resch said. "It’s really taken off, and they’ve really embraced it. At Escape 262, we have a conference room that we can use to bring in your company or other corporate events, coaches and their players, and business professionals to share their leadership characteristics. That’s our effort to make the world a better place.”
The conference room will also double as a space for birthday parties and other events.
"We’ve partnered with Ally’s Bistro, which is just up the street from us as one of our preferred caterers and Papa John’s," Resch said. "My fundraiser company, if someone wants a burger, brats, hot dogs, chicken, steaks, we will cater. So, we’ll offer food for birthday parties or corporate events.”
Pricing for the escape rooms varies during the week.
"During our non-peak times — so Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday — the average price will be $25, and then Friday and Saturday, our price will be $30 per person," Resch said. "One thing that sets us apart from other places is our prices include tax and credit card fees. It’s a flat rate; nice and easy for people.”
For more information on TeamEscape 262, call (262) 227-7732, or check them out on Facebook.