You’ll Never Want to Leave this Escape Room
Palm Springs unlocks the next chapter in immersive entertainment
By Kevin Perry
Stick your head in a cauldron, call up Scotland Yard, and sleuth your way over to Escape Room Palm Springs, a quizzical playground that unleashes your inner explorer.
Now, don’t worry; you won’t stick your head in an ACTUAL cauldron, nor will you literally be locked in the game space, but you will have a rare opportunity to bond with your chosen teammates in a private setting. Players conquer themed challenges in an attempt to bust out of an enclosed area by solving a series of engaging puzzles. It’s an experience so intensely innovative that participants are encouraged and delighted to survey their surroundings with a newfound sense of awe.
“When people get into the room and they’re in this unfamiliar situation, we call them ‘adult toddlers’ because they’re touching everything, handling everything, and not sure what they’re supposed to be doing, and trying to learn it as they go along.” So says Mark Fruchtman, who owns and operates the fantastical facility with his partner in creativity, Dominique Fruchtman.
“During our games,” explains Dominique, “we request that people put their phones in lockers that we provide and unplug for the 60 minutes that they play our escape rooms. A lot of people are resistant to this, but we just tell ‘em there’s no need to Google anything, they don’t need any outside knowledge; we provide everything you need. You need each other and you need your wits, and that’s it.”
Easy for her to say; she and her husband have savvy to spare. “When we first opened, we knew that it was a perfect endeavor for us because I have a background in creative writing and Mark is a trained programmer. So between the two of us, it’s really a perfect match.”
They design and execute every facet of these immersive experiences, which dive to the depths of the Titanic and soar to new heights of intrigue. Gamers can crack into a bank vault, unearth the gothic tale of a vampire romance gone sour, or mix it up with Merlin the magician; all with the help of their own personal puzzle guides.
“It’s a live game master,” punctuates Dominique. “It’s unique and individualized for each team because the questions are unique, so the answers should be too.”
Speaking of unique, this is a phenomenon unlike anything else in the Inland Empire. “One of the reasons that we wanted to open the Escape Room,” Mark recounts, “is that there wasn’t really a lot to do out here for 20 and 30 somethings unless you’re a drinker or a golfer. So we wanted to have an alternate activity for younger people to be able to do. That was our primary goal in opening here.”
The Fruchtmans originally hail from the East Coast, but hail was just the issue. The couple coveted the warm weather of SoCal because, as Mark playfully puts it, “You don’t have to shovel sunshine!”
And Palm Springs warmed up to these entertaining entrepreneurs as well. “The community has been great. Everybody’s been really supportive and really excited about what we’re doing,” beams Mark.
“They had no idea what it was when we first pitched it,” recalls Dominique, “but they sort of trusted us and said, ‘we trust you not to lock us up and kill us and so let’s do this thing.’ We’ve had great success from the get-go. It’s been wonderful.”
Wonder is indeed at the epicenter of Escape Room Palm Springs. The establishment welcomes fledgling Sherlocks of every age, bridging familial gaps and breaking proverbial bread. Mark opines, “This is an activity that all of the generations can participate in, they can all talk about it afterward, and it really makes a bonding experience for families.”
Dominique elaborates, “Everybody puts their phones away, they go into as room, they look each other in the eyes, they have human interaction… they work things out!”
Her comments resonate from the micro to the macro. The Fruchtmans aren’t just coaching small teams to communicate and collaborate; they’re reconnecting participants with their own innate sense of curiosity and discovery.
It’s a passion for play that ripples through the community and flows back to Dominique Fruchtman. “When people ask me why I love what I do, I tell them it’s because people come in smiling and they leave laughing.”
To enter this mystical realm of heists, history, and herculean fun, book your Escape Room today. The clock is ticking…
2500 N Palm Canyon Dr B3, Palm Springs, CA 92262