At the age of 24, Tyler Pesson is a business owner, creative centerpiece to the business, and millennial pro. He is part-owner of Escape SBC, a business that has two locations, one in Bossier and one in Shreveport.
“Escape Bossier opened July 13 of 2018,” Pesson said. “The Shreveport location has been doing pretty decent so we decided, you know not a lot of people from Bossier like to travel into Shreveport necessarily or it may be too far, so we figured that Airline Drive would be a good place to expand.”
Located on Plantation Drive right off of Airline Drive, you will find Escape Bossier. In the 6,000 square foot space, there are four escape rooms ready to be worked through. Pesson built all of these rooms by hand and he is opening up a fifth room during the week of Halloween.
Pesson has put enormous thought and detail into the escape rooms. But, what exactly is an escape room?
“An escape room is a experience where you get to escape reality,” he explained. “You get to bring your family, your friends, your coworkers and you come in and then you get to escape in one of our scenes we’ve built.”
Pesson has built a space where you are not just escaping a room, but you’re also escaping your everyday life for just an hour. During that hour you get to go places you’d otherwise not get to experience in real life whether it be rummaging through old carnival grounds, trying to make your way from the moon back to earth, or even helping detective Sherlock Holmes.
“While you’re in the room, you’re solving puzzles, opening locks, reading clues, and escaping into that theme,” he said.
The biggest challenge for Pesson and the Bossier location wasn’t just finding a place that would allow them to use the space for escape rooms but learning all the details and permits that go in to opening a business in Bossier. During that process he learned what it meant to run a business in Bossier that was safe, up to code, and ready for people to visit.
With all of the rooms in Escape Bossier, what is the process behind creating the challenges and room? He starts by building the physical set. About 60 percent of the way through, they then sit down and decide the actual puzzles and challenges that are going to be in the room. This allows him to be able to build any challenges that can be built into the scenery to be built there. The last 40 percent is incorporating any technology in the room.
“I have everything from standard push buttons and relays all the way up to programming microcontrollers through a computer that can do pretty much anything,” Pesson said.
“Originally I was an auto mechanic for six years, “ he explained. “A lot of the technology that is automobiles today is a really complex version of simple programming that I can do with the microcontrollers.”
From then he watched tutorials on microcontrollers and has continued to expand his knowledge on how to work with technology within the escape rooms.
During the week of Halloween, they will be opening a new room called Doll Master, a horror themed room. They have many plans for the future of Escape Bossier from pirates, to ancient Egypt, working your way through a Mayan Temple, all the way to post-apocalyptic. They are always working to bring an experience that no one has seen before.
Though the escape rooms have great detail and can seem intimidating, he says they want to make sure all people can participate.
“We don’t want it to be too big where it is impossible for the standard group of two on a date night to solve it but we also want it to be complex enough where a group of 8 people can enjoy their time in the room,” Pesson said. “[That way] everyone gets to do something, and they spend most of their hour in the room and get their money’s worth.”
Some people are hesitant because when they hear ‘escape room’ they are afraid they are actually locked in or they won’t be let out if they fail to complete the challenge.
“It’s not a scary experience. It’s a really fun entertaining experience,” he said. “You know a couple of our rooms may have that horror theme but there are no live actors in the room, you’re not actually locked in so just try it once.”
If you succeed, you can sign your name on the wall proving you escaped, or come back and try again.
By visiting the location in Bossier, you can see the hard work Tyler Pesson has put in to the challenges. You also can continue to show the support from Bossier he’s already felt deeply.
“One the biggest things I love about being in Bossier City is the people,” he said. “They definitely have made us feel welcome and so we want to give back by making a great experience for them to come enjoy themselves and have a good night out.”