By Kevin Collison
The Escape Game, a Nashville chain specializing in “story-driven missions,” is planning to open a franchise in the Country Club Plaza this spring, the latest immersive-style entertainment venue to liven up the venerable retail district.
The new venture is planned for space at 320 Ward Parkway currently occupied by the Ricca Sposa bridal shop, according to an application to the city filed by the Country Club Plaza management.
“The Escape Game’s experiences cast its beloved guests as heroes in story-driven missions, such as Ruins: The Forbidden Treasure, The Heist, and Prison Break, which take place in highly immersive, multi-room sets,” according to the Plaza application.
“Guests get the opportunity to “win” each mission by working together to solve intellectual and tactile challenges within a 60-minute timeframe.”
The project would occupy both the main floor and the basement of the space at 320 Ward Parkway and would be open seven days a week from approximately 10 a.m. to midnight, according to the application.
The Escape Game already has 27 retail locations throughout the country including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York City, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Houston and Nashville. The chain served its five millionth guest earlier this year.
“We run two shifts per day (AM and PM) and typically have 6-10 team members in our store on each shift,” according to the Plaza application. “We serve approximately 100-350 guests daily, and each guest spends around an hour and 15 minutes at our venue.
“While we are open late, our operation is respectful of surrounding businesses, and there would be no impact on other businesses in terms of noise or other disturbances.”
Daniel Dare, marketing director for The Escape Game, said his firm seeks top real estate locations for its outlets. Its New York location is at 41st and Madison; Chicago’s Riverwalk district; Century City in LA, and in Mall of America in the Twin Cities.
“We want to be next to other big entertainment operators,” Dare said. “Kansas City is a huge market and the Plaza is an entertainment hub.
“A lot of people go for shopping and dining and at our place, you can take an hour out of your day and have a really fun time.”
The Escape Game would join Puttery, an immersive, miniature golf with food and drinks, located at the former Jack Henry Building at 4641 Jefferson.
The developer of the Jack Henry project, Matt Pennington of Drake Development, has said the Plaza needs additional types of entertainment and restaurants to make it more appealing.
In addition to the 23,000 square-foot Puttery, a new Chiefs Fit health club has opened in the Jack Henry project.
Pennington has proposed a project next door that would include three restaurants and several floors of condos. The Cocina47 development would replace the Seventh Church of Christ, Scientists at 47th and Pennsylvania.
The City Plan Commission recommended the plan be rejected at its meeting in June because of height and parking issues. It has yet to be presented to the City Council.
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