BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Secret treasures, killer mermaids and Voodoo spells are coming soon to The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem.
Trap Door Escape, operating three escape room venues in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is planning to open a fourth location – a pirate-themed facility – in early 2023 at the outlet mall on Bethlehem’s South Side, co-owner Anthony Purzycki said.
“It’ll likely be toward the end of the first quarter, around March,” Purzycki said in reference to the business’ target opening date.
Trap Door’s forthcoming Bethlehem location, dubbed “Cursed Pirate Tales,” will take you on immersive adventures from Tortuga Island, across the ocean, on a pirate’s ship and to the Beast Caves, “where the ultimate treasure awaits!”, according to the business’ website.
Trap Door venues are “far from conventional,” and the Bethlehem location will blend a traditional escape room with theater, production, massive sets and rum for 21-and older participants.
“Above all, we create immersive experiences that are multi-room, private, objective based, and heavily story driven,” the online description continues. “In other words, we do not lock you in. Instead, we lock you out of several rooms and have you solve puzzles, complete objectives and succeed in challenges to uncover more of the story and environment.”
Trap Door Escape, which also has locations in Bartonsville, Monroe County and Red Bank and Morristown in New Jersey, will occupy more than 11,000 square feet on The Outlet’s lower level.
The facility will fill what was previously three retail spaces, the former locations of Christopher & Banks, Corningware Corelle & More and Go! Calendars, Games & Toys.
It will feature seven experiences, which customers will be able to visit separately via a single ticket ($25-$60 per player) or all together via a Day Pass with a 6.5-hour time limit.
Experiences are private excluding the Plunder Lounge and rum bar, which is available to non-gamers as well.
Among the experiences will be Cannibal Tribe ($25), a 30-minute game of puzzle-based hide and seek, where participants aim to not get eaten; VooDoo ($45), a 1-hour immersive theater, puzzle hunt hybrid, where participants plunge into the ancient spiritual practices of island natives through tribal dance and VooDoo spells (featuring live actors); Tortuga Island ($45), where participants seek a map to navigate a rough place, full of drunks, grifters, loose women and secret treasures; Treasure Hunt ($25), a 30-minute scavenger hunt, where players must find the spot to dig for treasure; Curse of the Pirate’s Ship ($45), where participants must conquer The Lady Jane, unfriendly weather and killer mermaids; and Beast Caves ($60), a 2-hour challenge, where participants must puzzle through a 3,000-square-foot cave at the bottom of The Devils Triangle.
Trap Door, which opened its first location in Red Bank in 2015, originated with a screenplay.
Purzycki needed help rewriting his feature film script, “Ratred: The Following,” and he brought it to an independent film studio, Harrington Talents, according to a post on Trap Door’s website.
As it happens, the studio was completing a film with a young production assistant, who had just come out of film school for screenwriting, and they thought they would make a great fit.
The pair started collaborating on other film scripts, writing the horror stories “Theatre of the Devil” and “Cliff’s End.”
“Over the next few years we faced con-artists, rewrites, actor demands, California meetings, and a collapse of the independent film market, yet produced no films, despite tireless efforts,” a post on the business’ websit reads.
Then, in 2012, Purzycki had the idea to stream an actor trapped in a situation and have the audience solve puzzles to figure out where he was trapped. This gave birth to the “Find Me Event,” and 1,000 people played over several hours.
Following the positive response of the “Find Me Event,” the team pursued interactive entertainment further, aiming to create new and greater experiences.
They eventually steered away from streaming and ventured into live entertainment, writing and producing the interactive show, “Windward Hotel,” which allowed a live audience to follow along as a ghost story evolved across multiple floors of an actual hotel.
“Only after all of this, did we hear of the burgeoning industry known as escape rooms,” the post continues. “Needless to say, we quickly realized that this is what we’ve been working towards since we met!”
Trap Door will join other entertainment venues at The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem, including supervised children’s entertainment facility Kids Quest & Cyber Quest and axe-throwing facility Angry Jack’s Axe Throwing Club.
Its imminent arrival will be a breath of fresh air for The Outlets, which lost a string of tenants – including Charming Charlie, Under Armour Bethlehem Factory House and Corningware Corell & More – earlier this year.
The shopping center, which debuted as The Shoppes at the Sands in 2011, continues to house well-known brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Coach.
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