New Hot Property For Malls: Escape Rooms

by Joan Verdon

Rockaway, NJ – Rockaway Townsquare mall has a new tenant that is becoming a hot property for shopping centers and downtown landlords. This tenant, next door to a J.C. Penney department store, doesn’t sell clothes, shoes or cosmetics. Instead, customers pay $20 to be locked in a room for an hour, and solve riddles in order to “escape.”

Remember the frozen yogurt explosion, when every block had a frozen yogurt shop? Or the boutique fitness bulge that brought Pilates studios and spin classes to strip malls? Get ready for the escape room boom.

Escape rooms — interactive entertainment venues where people pay to be locked in a room and must solve riddles to be released — are expanding rapidly in North Jersey and around the country. The rooms over the past year have gone from novelty to next big thing, with landlords welcoming them as a way to fill space in malls and downtowns at a time when traditional retailers are closing stores.

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