Escape Today will soon offer more than the escape rooms they’re known for. Over the next couple of months, owners David Haynes and Max Garvin will be adding axe throwing to their line-up of activities.
Haynes and Garvin also have future plans to include an arcade game bar in their business. Arcade bars have grown in popularity among millennials who enjoy drinking in an arcade atmosphere. Haynes said Escape Today plans to install 10 to 20 arcade machines, along with a bar that will initially serve beer and wine.
Axe-throwing has become a trend in larger cities as well. Those who participate at Escape Today should also be able to drink from the bar, which requires Haynes and Garvin to implement an entirely new insurance plan for their company. The two of them came up with the idea after visiting an axe throwing bar in Columbus, Ohio.
“There will be a bowling alley-style lane with a target at the end,” Haynes said. “It can be as competitive or as lax as you want it to be.”
Haynes said Escape Today will offer axe throwing lines for recreational and competitive purposes. The difference between the two lines is based off a few feet of distance. Haynes said axe throwing doesn’t require the upper-body strength one might expect.
“The competitive distance will be about 15 feet. The recreation distance will be a little over 13 feet,” Haynes said. “They say that two feet makes a huge difference.”
A free-roam style for both the game bar and the axe throwing is what Haynes has in mind for his customers. Those who pay for an hour and 45 minutes of axe throwing won’t be required to stay in one place the entire time. Customers can walk to and from the bar, play arcade games, and mingle with friends. For axe throwing, the ideal number of players would be four to a lane.
“There will be appointments to book, but a lot less regimen [compared to the escape rooms],” Haynes said. “This is more of a social activity.”
Haynes is hoping to be approved for a liquor license in the coming weeks. The building must undergo an inspection as well, which Haynes said could happen at any point. As the owners await their inspection, Haynes said his ideal vision is that the game bar be open sometime in January and axe throwing be available to customers in early February.
“What we are hoping, and it’s very dependent on when they get back to us — we could potentially be serving alcohol by the middle of January,” Haynes said.
For the game bar, Haynes said they’re looking to incorporate “old classic games,” though the process of buying and finding the games is somewhat difficult. Games such as Mortal Kombat are popular for arcade bars, but also hard to find.
The owners do not intend for the arcade games play to be “adults only,” and plan on designating at least one day a week to allow children to play the arcade games at Escape Today.
“We’d love for kids to be able to play the arcade machines,” Haynes said.
Virtual Reality gaming is another new project Escape Today will offer, and Haynes said it will be included in the 2,500 extra feet of space the two owners purchased for their new additions.
Haynes and Garvin will also include a “Smash it Up” room as part of their new rollout of activities.
“We’re going to have a small area, and we’ll provide the customer with protective equipment and a sledgehammer and let them smash things up for 30 minutes,” Haynes said.
The Smash It Up room will include items such as old TVs, computers, plates, glassware, as well as the option for customers to bring their own items.
“It’s up to you what you want to bring and what you want to do with it,” Haynes said.