Hollywood-style escape-room business opens in Harrisburg

Nov. 12, 2018

A new escape-room business at the Air Madness Trampoline Park complex in Harrisburg is bringing a Hollywood-style experience to the entertainment offering.

Conquer Escape Rooms has opened with two rooms, and the third – its signature experience – is expected to open in the first week of January, owner-operator Jonathon Rolph said.

“I wanted to bring the next level of escape rooms to Sioux Falls,” said Rolph, who served as the general manager of another escape-room business and had to wait until his noncompete agreement had expired to open Conquer Escape Rooms.

The Arizona native who has a background in finance got hooked on escape rooms after his first challenge a few years ago, but he wanted to re-create the experience he had found in bigger cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

Conquer’s rooms use advanced puzzles compared with the initial padlocks and lock boxes of the first escape-room challenges, Rolph said. He hired set builders with experience in Hollywood to create the rooms. For example, in Diamond Quest, the game that will open in January with multiple rooms, players must restore power to an “elevator” that will make them feel as though they’re actually going underground.

That challenge is set in an 1,100-square-foot space. Rolph describes it as an Indiana Jones-type of experience “with a whole storyline of rooms that you’ll have to explore. You’re trying to find the secret diamond of the Aztec gods.”

The other rooms are Escape Plan, a breakout from a Third World prison, and Recon, which involves trying to stop a vigilante group from toppling governments worldwide. Escape Plan accommodates four to 16 players, and Recon works for two to 14. Both of those rooms are accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Diamond Quest can be played by two to 12 people.

Rolph knows he’s offering an experience that customers will be happy with, but he’s willing to let potential players decide that for themselves.

“We will show our rooms to people,” he said. “We’ll bring you in and let you see it before you play.”

All challenges are one-hour experiences and cost $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 8 to 12. That amount includes all taxes and fees.

Corporate events can be hosted for groups as small as six to as large as 100 or more. Conquer Escape Room has access to a gym at the Air Madness complex that can be used for hosting group events, Rolph said. Nearby Big J’s Roadhouse BBQ & Grill provides on-site catering, and it also has a mobile bar service.

Reservations for the escape rooms can be made online at conquerescaperooms.com, by phone or at the business. Conquer Escape Rooms is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, noon to midnight Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening.

The timing of the opening works well the approach of the holidays and the settling in of cold weather. For the holidays, Air Madness and Conquer Escape Rooms are sharing a kiosk at The Empire Mall where gift cards can be purchased.

Rolph, who has lived in Sioux Falls since 2014, said he connected with the owner of Air Madness, Jesse Vandestroet, through a family friend and is excited about the location.

“I love being something that is part of a growing community. There’s a lot of opportunity out in this developing area, and the community of Harrisburg is so supporting.”

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Hollywood-style escape-room business opens in Harrisburg

Conquer Escape Rooms has opened at the Air Madness Trampoline Complex in Harrisburg.

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