‘The Spectator’ reviews Eau Claire’s new escape room

For an hour (or less) you can feel like a detective at Escape EC


Photo by Emilee Wentland

Groups of two to eight can experience Escape EC’s current room theme, “The Professor.”

The doors locked behind us and we had exactly one hour on the clock to figure out the clues, solve the mystery and escape. We found an abundance of keys that appeared to not open any doors and several clues that were just as confusing as they were exciting. Everything was a mystery, and once each mystery was solved, a new one arose.

This somewhat frightening, albeit thrilling experience is referred to as an escape room and a new one just opened last month in Eau Claire.

Escape rooms have become quite popular in the United States as well as countries all around the world. The object of the game is to find clues and objects around the room that will help you find a way of escaping within the designated amount of time.

For Jack Trautlein and Jessica Stickler — co-owners of Eau Claire’s newest escape room, Escape EC — escape rooms quickly became an addiction.

“Once you do one, you want to keep doing more,” Stickler said.

On a trip to Las Vegas this past April, Trautlein suggested the two of them visit an escape room. While Stickler didn’t like the idea at first, she still went along and they both realized how exciting escape rooms were. They have since gone to several different rooms around the United States.

On Aug. 3, they opened their own escape room on the west side of Eau Claire.

“It all happened really fast because we were totally addicted,” Stickler said.

Currently there’s just one room titled “The Professor,” which includes a fun backstory and is also incorporated into the room’s decorations and clues. The duo hopes to open another room with a different theme within the next couple of months. The possibilities are endless for new room ideas, Trautlein and Stickler said.

I was able to experience the room for myself and escaping was not an easy task. Trautlein and Stickler both recommended completing the escape room with several people (I had a friend accompany me) because it’s a great team-building activity and everyone has different strengths when it comes to problem-solving.

Unlocking a new secret in the room was exhilarating, but the most exciting part was at the end when we escaped. My friend and I completed the task in just over an hour (we were minutes away from getting out when the timer went off, so they let us finish), but the current record-holders finished in only 37 minutes.

You can try to escape “The Professor” at Escape EC, located on Westgate Road, so long as you book a timeslot online ahead of time. It’s a great activity to do with when you just can’t study anymore, or want something new and different to do with friends. Students can use the code “UWEC” to receive a discount.