IDAHO FALLS– Michael Tidd, the owner and proprietor of ConFundrum Escape Rooms, has been in business since July 14, 2017. Tidd runs the business with his wife and children, on top of three other jobs. "I am just passionate about escape rooms and this passion transfers to my business." The escape room is on Woodruff in Idaho Falls. The complex that the escape rooms is in is quiet, but imagination and adventure can be found through this fun experience.
People who are passionate can find "conventions" to experience their passions to the fullest. It was at an escape room convention in 2016, where Tidd decided to make his dream of owning an escape room, into a reality. Tidd's father joined the business as a builder, with 40-year construction experience, and has turned the rooms into an immersive experience.
Escape rooms got their start from early video games in Japan. The "Crimson Room" was released in 2004, which was a point-and-click video game. The popularity of the game gave a Japanese company SCRAP Entertainment to create escape rooms where the individuals were faced with solving a mystery in the allotted time. It was a quick success and by 2012 they opened their first escape room in San Francisco. Around three years later, 367 escape rooms were registered in the United States alone. By 2017, there were 1800 escape rooms all over the country. Idaho currently has 8 escape rooms and with varying levels of difficulty, there is something for the whole family.
ConFundrum is currently building their Christmas-esque game for families. It will be done by December 9, for families who want to get out of the house. They are more than happy to point their patrons to other escape rooms. "We tend to know each other, and it's a reciprocal business. We like to point out other rooms that people would like. It is more fun to succeed." There are a few different types of rooms around the area. Most escape room businesses do a 'public' type of scheduling. Once there are enough people for one escape room they allow them to go. Some businesses do a private function. If a couple or a smaller group of friends want to do a room alone, Tidd allows it. "We want people to be comfortable and work at their own pace. People don't want to be rushed through or have other team members spoil it. This gives a better experience, I think."
Tidd is hoping in the future to expand his current location. He only has two games currently running (with the third Christmas one being built currently and will open on December 9), and with an expansion Tidd wants to be able to have eight rooms total. By doing this he would be able to cycle one out every six months which will give ample time for people to experience the other rooms as well. "It takes about six to eight thousand dollars to build a new room. When I first opened I thought I would be able to build a new room every three to six months. I quickly realized this was a very bad idea. Right now we are doing good with what we have and people have been supportive."
ConFundrum is a unique place because it throws out the usual tropes, which is a common or overused theme (apocalypse, zombies, kidnap), and creates different adventures for the customers. Their customer service goes above the immersive experience of the rooms. If one is heading to Idaho Falls, check them out on their website (confundrumescaperooms.us) where one can read reviews as well as schedule a time to experience their escape rooms.