Photo courtesy Ackerberg Group

Photo courtesy Ackerberg Group

Escape room game opens in Miller Textile Building

Updated: May 12, 2017 - 9:54 am

Mission Manor already has a few themed puzzle rooms to solve

The escape room trend has hit Northeast Minneapolis once again with the opening of Mission Manor.

The business, which invites guests to solve puzzles in order to escape from themed rooms, opened at the end of 2016 in the newly renovated Miller Textile Building in the Beltrami neighborhood.

Mission Manor, which has capacity for five themed rooms, has opened three rooms so far with a fourth on the way. “Asylum” has guests escaping an abandoned sanatorium, “Inheritance” involves finding gold in an old mansion and “Countdown” requires puzzle solvers to defuse a bomb. Guests have an hour to escape from the locked spaces.

Owner Dan Shamp said they try to bring authenticity to the escape rooms with décor from the rooms’ real-life equivalents. Mission Manor’s puzzles have guests in teams of up to about six people solving much more than simple padlocks, he said, to “make your brain work in a strange and funky fashion.” It also helps to have staff who come from a game design background.

“We bring a lot of immersive experience to our escape rooms,” he said.

The immersion is one element that Shamp said sets them apart from other escape room games, which have rapidly expanded in the Twin Cities metro in recent years. The number of escape room businesses has grown from just a few to more than 15 since Shamp started planning Mission Manor, he said. Luckily, Shamp said there’s power in numbers, as each business has a limited number of rooms to offer.

“We rely on each other less as competition than as continued advertising,” he said. “The escape room community is kind of a close-knit community.”

For would-be puzzle solvers worried about difficulty, Shamp said their rooms range from very difficult to a good first-time experience with escape rooms. Staff can tailor the experience for a group, giving clues and guidance to guests who get stuck. Mission Manor can host corporate groups and team-building events thanks to its large lounge and lobby space.

File photo
File photo

Mission Manor is at least the second live puzzle room game to open in Northeast Minneapolis. Riddle Room launched its first room on Central Avenue just a few blocks from the Miller Textile Building in 2014. It now operates several themed rooms at the corner of Central & Hennepin.

The Miller Textile Building has welcomed several tenants since it opened last year. HeadFlyer Brewing opened its doors on the ground floor in April. Stahl Construction and Grassroots Solutions occupy spaces on the upper office levels. Nash Frame Design is located on the lower level with Mission Manor.

There are two vacant spaces left in the nearly 50,000-square-foot building with 3,400 square feet open on the ground floor and about 6,000 square feet open on the fourth floor, according to Ackerberg, which redeveloped the former industrial complex.

Mission Manor is open daily at 861 E. Hennepin Ave. Guests can book rooms at missionmanor.com.