Hamilton’s first escape room is now taking reservations for as early as Sunday.
Escape Goatz is a one-of-a-kind escape room at 309 Court St. in downtown Hamilton because they came from the mind of Rodney Hunter, a co-owner of the escape room near the Government Services Center.
Hunter designed every room, which is why he said the three rooms “are unique.”
“A lot of hours went into it,” he said. “This wasn’t something that was just thrown together. We had to get very creative with the rooms and suitable for all ages but at the same time challenging for those who have been to a lot of escape rooms.”
J.T. Stone and his family put Hunter’s puzzles to the test, and with one of them, if it wasn’t for Stone’s 10-year-old son, “we would not have gotten it because he’s the one that figured it out.”
Each room ― which includes mafia, space invasion and diamond heist themes ― has its own inherent difficulty level, but they will be challenging, Stone said.
The owners said each team, which could be anywhere from one to six people, has three clues if they get stuck. If they’re really struggling even with the clues, they’ll get some additional assistance. However, for those escape room veterans, they don’t have to ask for clues.
Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Bates called Escape Goatz “not only a new business, but a really cool and exciting business” in downtown.
“If you’re looking for an activity to do with your co-workers, your family, your friends, or just grabbing somebody off the street, come do an escape room,” he said.
Hunter decided on an escape room business as his next venture after he took one of his basketball teams to an escape room for a team-bonding experience. He admits he’s always thinking about “what’s next” for him, and as he was waiting for his team’s turn, he thought, “This is it.”
After trying a few other escape rooms and putting together a plan, his “what’s next” moment is now happening. But true to his nature, Hunter said he’s looking at “what’s next” for Escape Goatz, and that’s possibly expanding into the basement of the building on Court Street, or making one of the rooms encompass two floors.
People can reserve time as early as Sunday, Aug. 20, for an escape room experience, but reservations must be made online at www.escapegoatz.com. Teams of one to six people will get up to an hour to complete a room, and it’s advised to arrive 15 to 20 minutes ahead of the scheduled time to sign waivers and get acclimated to the location.
While Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill wasn’t the primary reason they opened in Hamilton, Hunter and Stone said they expect to benefit from the thousands of out-of-town visitors looking for family activities away from the complex. But they’re in Hamilton because, as Hunter said, “Why not Hamilton?”
“Hamilton is the place to be right now,” said Hunter, who’s lived in the city for 13 years and grew up a Middletown Middie. “The culture here, I love it. I love what everyone’s doing to revitalize downtown Hamilton, and I believe location is key in any business, and why not Hamilton?”
Stone said his family lives between Ross Twp. and Hamilton, but spends a lot of time in the city, and at least once a week they are somewhere downtown.
“It made a lot of sense,” he said.
How to go
What: Esape Goatz
Where: 309 Court St., Hamilton
Hours: 4:30 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
More details: 513-889-GOAT (4628)