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Outdoor escape room debuts in Eugene

Outdoor escape room debuts in Eugene (SBG)
Outdoor escape room debuts in Eugene (SBG)
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EUGENE, Ore. — You’ve probably heard of an escape room. You're locked in, you have to solve clues in order to get out before times up. But what if your escape didn't involve a room at all?

That's exactly the experience that Mental Mansion Escape Rooms debuted last week. It's an escape game like any other except it's entirely outdoors.

"It's actually a GPS adventure,” says Casey MontKelley, owner of Mental Mansion Escape Rooms. “You start here at Mental Mansion, and you're given a tablet and a case full of props"

From there, the game leads you around to different activities and riddles -- including augmented reality and 3D puzzles. Eventually, the last riddle leads players back to Mental Mansion.

MontKelley says he was contacted pre-COVID by a German company called Cluetivity about an outdoor escape room experience.

He was interested, but then the pandemic shut his business down. When Mental Mansion reopened in May, MontKelley noticed customers were hesitant to come back, even with precautions.

"So I was like what is an opportunity, what is a solution we can provide people to get them to come, to give them something to do, where they don't have to wear a mask, where they can feel socially distant, where they can be safe, and where they can have a good time,” said MontKelley. “And then I remembered this opportunity that I was presented with back in February."

From there MontKelley reconnected with Cluetivity and got to work tailoring the game experience to fit the area.

"Trying to get the right locations, to put people in the right places, to make sure that it's not too noisy, traffic-wise, those sorts of things, and make sure that everything makes sense to what they're doing and to how people think here in Eugene," said MontKelley.

Mental Mansion will offer two outdoor escape experiences: Operation Mindfall which launched on Tuesday, and Magic Portal which is coming soon.

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MontKelley says the outdoor escape game is for two to five people, and lasts 90 minutes. They also offer indoor escape rooms with social distancing precautions.

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