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An imaginative escape in Peoria

The three themed escape rooms, Wild West, Haunted Mansion and Medical Mystery are displayed as part of the Escapetown experience. Photos by Conor McEntee.

When you walk into Escapetown Peoria, you get a strange feeling of hospitality mixed with confusion.

The owners, Michael and Kyli Whittle, invite customers with open arms and take them to one of three escape rooms. The one-hour challenge will leave them in a race against time, trying to escape whatever challenges are bestowed upon them.

Escapetown Peoria opened in July 2018 and the reason behind it was simple for the Whittles: the passion was there.

“About three and a half years ago, we played our first escape room and absolutely loved it.” Michael Whittle said. We played about 30 or 40 of them in that first year, and then we were completely hooked, we could open a business that we can do, and we can do it well, and that really uses our creativity, and it’s been awesome.”

They currently have three rooms with different themes: wild west, haunted mansion and medical mystery.

“It’s a lot of adrenaline, a lot of teamwork and a lot of not knowing what you are getting into and having a better time than you actually planned to,” Michael Whittle said.

Whittle said it is seeing how the groups work together.

When you walk into Escapetown Peoria, you get a strange feeling of hospitality mixed with confusion.

The owners, Michael and Kyli Whittle, invite customers with open arms and take them to one of three escape rooms. The one-hour challenge will leave them in a race against time, trying to escape whatever challenges are bestowed upon them.

Escapetown Peoria opened in July 2018 and the reason behind it was simple for the Whittles: the passion was there.

“About three and a half years ago, we played our first escape room and absolutely loved it.” Michael Whittle said. We played about 30 or 40 of them in that first year, and then we were completely hooked, we could open a business that we can do, and we can do it well, and that really uses our creativity, and it’s been awesome.”

They currently have three rooms with different themes: wild west, haunted mansion and medical mystery.

“It’s a lot of adrenaline, a lot of teamwork and a lot of not knowing what you are getting into and having a better time than you actually planned to,” Michael Whittle said.

Whittle said it is seeing how the groups work together.

The three themed escape rooms, Wild West, Haunted Mansion and Medical Mystery are displayed as part of the Escapetown experience. Photos by Conor McEntee.

“Every game runs a little differently depending on the dynamic of the group and what certain people pick up on or not pick up on,” Michael Whittle said.

The future of Escapetown is not so distant, as it will be right next door. They have signed a lease to build two more rooms in an adjacent building.

“It’s going to be a zoo theme game, which will be coming out in February or so of 2020 and then the next one we are going to announce at a later date.” Whittle said. “We have a good idea of what that’s going to be, but we are going to keep the speculation going for that one.”

Through all the creativity, construction and customer interaction one thing always gives the owners joy and that is the customers’ reactions.

He speaks to the groups afterwards and the customers love to talk about their favorite parts of what happened.

“When a customer says, ‘We are definitely going to come back and play your other two games,’ those are the best feelings,” Whittle said. “It’s great to make money, but there’s nothing better than a customer who had a great time.”

Escapetown Peoria is located at 4812B North Sheridan Road and is open from 12-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 12-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday.

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