The thought of starting a business in the middle of a pandemic would send chills down anyone’s spine. But that doesn’t mean the timing can’t be eerily, utterly right.
That’s certainly how it feels for Lisa Bernstein and Chris McMillan, two Red River College grads who opened the horror-themed Killer Noob Escapes at the start of October.
Not surprisingly, Killer Noob is a perfect match for the spookiest month of the year. After their shared love of all things scary led to some business-idea brainstorming, Bernstein and McMillan served up a fresh spin on the escape-industry standard.
“We’ve always loved escape rooms,” says Bernstein, who graduated from RRC’s Creative Communications program in 2010. “Three years ago, we went to a horror-themed escape room in Las Vegas and we could not stop talking about it. We loved the aesthetics, we loved how it looked. It was like walking on to a movie set.
“But we also talked about what we would do differently, partially because we found the puzzles to be lacklustre. So that started the ball rolling of planning what types of rooms we were going to do, what our theme was — and in January 2018 we bit the bullet and created the business, and slowly started chipping away at props and puzzles.”
While Killer Noob’s room names (“The Funhouse,” “Buried Alive,” “The Chamber,” and soon “The Upstairs”) might make the squeamish nervous, the goal isn’t jump scares or dumping guests into a haunted house. Rather, the set-ups require visitors to make skillful escapes, solving all manner of puzzles to get out of stressful situations.
As long as group sizes are limited, escape rooms can provide a safe form of COVID-era entertainment — so business at Killer Noob has been steady, with over 100 bookings in the first month. Read More →