To entertain and delight guests with fun, creative and challenging environments.
As a kid, I was always fascinated by entertainment attractions. Laser tag, amusement parks, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and haunted houses were all things that I looked forward to growing up. I enjoyed how each attraction offered something unique and I was especially thrilled when a good story emerged from the experience. In 2015, I was working in a part-time job that I wasn’t passionate about and a buddy in the Bay Area told me about how he was working as a gamemaster at a new attraction called an escape room. Immediately, I realized that I was missing out from a great opportunity and I knew that I wanted to be working somewhere in the attraction industry. I looked around for escape rooms locally, and to my disappointment, I could find none. But I did find a great job as the general manager at a tactical laser tag facility in town, which was an awesome silver lining! Eventually, escape rooms came to Fresno, and not long after I became the manager for an escape room and had an absolute blast. I enjoy every aspect of the business, especially being able to watch guests work together to achieve a common goal. Though I had a great time, I realized that there was more room for me to grow professionally. After working there for a year, I took a risk to leave and start my own company. Once I left, I realized there is a severely underserved market for businesses to perform team development exercises in Fresno and I tried to find a solution. Escape rooms were not my first choice, in fact, there were around a dozen or so different options that I came up with before I took the time to think back and look at my passions and skills. These were a few things I found: I knew that whatever I did and wherever I worked it would have to be fuelled by my passion; anything else would be unfulfilling. It would have to utilize one of my skills and provide a challenge that myself and others could learn from. It must help the Fresno community. Based on those criteria, I found that opening an escape room of my own would perfectly match all of the requirements I set forth. As they say, the rest is history! (Sort of.)
After I came up with the concept for an escape room that placed a focus on benefiting the Fresno community, I set out to put the plans into motion. In the span of three days, I came up with a thorough and detailed business plan, and I made plenty of phone calls. Lots and lots of phone calls. I asked everyone I knew about their thoughts behind the attraction industry, where they saw issues with their own teams at work, and what they typically did for team development. I gathered plenty of feedback; both positive and negative. Though all of the positive feedback was necessary to keep me motivated and have the idea validated, the negative feedback was just as necessary to help me identify what the company would become. Throughout all of the phone calls and coffee meetings, I crafted a clear vision of an escape room fueled by my passion to bring entertainment, team development, and professionalism to the Fresno community. I remain incredibly thankful for the people that have helped me create and sustain that vision today. However, it seemed like every day there was a new challenge to overcome. When the project first started I had saved as much money as possible but being a full-time college student without reliable income for the better part of a year, that well quickly ran dry. There were periods where everything seemed so utterly overwhelming; with the feeling that I was doomed to fail. I was forced to move out of my house, do homework during class while crunching as many hours into the business whenever I could after school. I was sleeping on a friends couch every night for weeks at a time. Money was tight and many sacrifices were made to get this business off the ground. Through all of the obstacles thrown at me, I was able to rely on truly extraordinary family and friends to get me to this point.
It has been a trying and challenging process to get this business to the point where it can finally open. There have been plenty of errors and pulled hairs, but all worthwhile as we prepare to open our doors. There have been times where it seemed better to give up and find something easier to pursue, but I always knew that as soon as we open, our team would deliver something really special to Fresno. We are excited to be able to finally open to the public and show off the work we have done this last year. Through all of the trouble we have gone through, we hope to offer some truly unique and incredible experiences for our guests and fellow Fresnans. Excited for the Road Ahead, Calvin Kammer | Escape Master & Owner