If you’ve ever wanted to release your inner escape artist, now’s your chance!
Locked Up John’s Pass, at 162 – 129th Ave., W., on Madeira Beach, is one of the latest crazes on the entertainment scene, brought to our beaches by two 20-something cousins, John Mrosewske and Kenny Hopp.
“We have three ‘escape rooms,’ each with a different story line and a different timeline for completion,” says John. “It’s a unique experience for date night, and a great team-building option for corporations and small businesses.”
Locked Up John’s Pass offers 60- and 30-minute escape rooms for groups of six to 20, and a 7-minute experience for those who arrive solo. The lockup experiences are designed to “feel” like the real thing: “Payoff” is a kidnap/ransom simulation with the dank feel and smell of a basement. “Pelican Bay” mimics the sights and sounds of a maximum security prison. And “Oceanside Execution” is … well … a short countdown to a flipped switch.
In each room, participants are provided with clues that, if properly interpreted and followed, will release those “trapped” inside. Closed-circuit TV cameras allow a Game Master to observe, and provide up to three additional clues to move things along if participants get bogged down.
Escaping from any of the rooms is no walk in the park. “Our escape rate is about 35%,” says John, “so people will be able to come back and still be challenged. We’ve had some participants who have a 100% escape rate from other rooms, and they still don’t complete ours.” One notable exception was a group of women celebrating a college reunion. All in their sixties, these women collaborated and beat the clock! “It doesn’t happen often,” John emphasizes.
The challenge is what makes Locked Up John’s Pass an ideal choice for corporate team building. “CEOs or owners can see how their employees function as a team, who takes the lead in problem solving, and who introduces creative ideas. They can observe the group, or be active participants.”
Larger groups of problem solvers can be accommodated, too. “We can set up catered refreshments in our lobby so a couple of groups can be socializing while others are involved in their escapes,” says John. “Or we can schedule corporate team building to take place over several sessions. Sometimes, companies will schedule a session just for fun, too,” he continues. “We recently had a local restaurateur come in and pay for his employees to come in and check out the experience.”
Summer hours are noon till 10 p.m., but as tourism season ramps up Locked Up John’s Pass will be open 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.
John says another room is planned in the months ahead, and notes that Locked Up John’s Pass is now booking parties for Hallowe’en, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. The event operates 364 days a year, closing only on Christmas Day.
Even though the escape room is aimed at adult participants, John notes that children as young as seven or eight years old can enjoy participating with their families.
“We’re excited about Locked Up John’s Pass,” says John. “I came here for years on family vacations while I was growing up, and even though I always enjoyed the beach, as an adult I thought it would be nice to have something else to do, too.”
Locked Up John’s Pass opened in May 2019, and it wasn’t long before the company joined the Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce. “It was a no-brainer,” John confides. “I have a degree in Marketing, and I know the importance of making connections in the community. The Chamber provides an excellent way to meet the other businesses. I’ve been to an After Hours Mixer and a Member Orientation, and I look forward to continued involvement.”