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New Escape Room doors set to open in Aviemore


By Alasdair Fraser

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Peter Sturrock and Staci Maguire at the new escape rooms in Aviemore.
Peter Sturrock and Staci Maguire at the new escape rooms in Aviemore.

Aviemore is set to become the latest destination for a craze that has generated a new form of tourism in parts of Europe.

Escape rooms, where participants race against the clock to tackle a series of tasks, puzzles and mysterious clues, have soared in popularity in recent years.

The distinctly indoor pursuit is set to be launched soon, possibly later this month.

The new venture in the Spey Valley Business Centre on Dalfaber Industrial Estate is the brainchild of Peter Sturrock, of Escape Aviemore Limited.

He gained planning permission to create the all-year-round facility in May.

Three differently themed rooms will test adventurous groups of two to six people in each team, with the first two set to be opened to the public on the launch date.

The first – The Bothy’s Treasure – imagines a remote Cairngorm mountain shelter where a previous inhabitant has left a trail of clues to a hidden treasure.

The second, called The Space Race, will challenge two teams to battle each other with deceit, trickery and sabotage to become the first to land a spacecraft on Mars.

A third room, to be opened at a later date, so far remains under wraps.

Mr Sturrock has been busy staging test runs of The Bothy’s Treasure at the attraction which will employ up to three staff.

“The games need to be fine-tuned and adjusted before we go live for the public opening.

“We think that will be towards the end of this month or the beginning of October,” he said.

“Staci Maguire, who will be working here, came with her family to test it on Saturday and some of my son’s Edinburgh hockey team also tried it out. Everyone seems to be really enjoying it.”

There is no escaping the popularity of escape rooms with almost 1500 in the UK alone.

Mr Sturrock said: “If you go to a place like Barcelona now, it is the escape room capital with about 40 in the city and it is similar in Budapest.

“Some people travel there now purely for the escape rooms and the excitement these attractions generate has been reflected on our social media pages.

“Our target audience is mainly families and groups of younger adults so our rooms won’t be themed on the really quite scary stuff some escape rooms offer, where you can be locked in the dark or in other frightening scenarios.

“This is all about fun, teamwork, team-building and solving puzzles. Some people are initially resistant, but once they give it a try they tend to really get into it.”

Mr Sturrock said his aim was to complement Aviemore’s existing visitor offering: “Moving up from Glasgow, I didn’t want to create anything that would compete with existing businesses and attractions in Aviemore,” he explained

“I wanted to create something a bit different, that would provide entertainment even when the weather wasn’t so great outside.”

There is also Escape Cairngorms at The Pagoda in Grantown with two games ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Prisoner of War’.

The new Aviemore attraction will operate from 10 am to 7pm in one-hour slots for customers.

AVIEMORE is set to become the latest destination for a craze that has generated a new form of tourism in parts of Europe.

Escape rooms, where participants race against the clock to tackle a series of tasks, puzzles and mysterious clues, have soared in popularity in recent years.

The distinctly indoor pursuit is set to be launched soon, possibly later this month.

The new venture in the Spey Valley Business Centre on Dalfaber Industrial Estate is the brainchild of Peter Sturrock, of Escape Aviemore Limited.

He gained planning permission to create the all-year-round facility in May.

Three differently themed rooms will test adventurous groups of two to six people in each team, with the first two set to be opened to the public on the launch date.

The first – The Bothy’s Treasure – imagines a remote Cairngorm mountain shelter where a previous inhabitant has left a trail of clues to a hidden treasure.

The second, called The Space Race, will challenge two teams to battle each other with deceit, trickery and sabotage to become the first to land a spacecraft on Mars.

A third room, to be opened at a later date, so far remains under wraps.

Mr Sturrock has been busy staging test runs of The Bothy’s Treasure at the attraction which will employ up to three staff.

“The games need to be fine-tuned and adjusted before we go live for the public opening.

“We think that will be towards the end of this month or the beginning of October,” he said.

“Staci Maguire, who will be working here, came with her family to test it on Saturday and some of my son’s Edinburgh hockey team also tried it out. Everyone seems to be really enjoying it.”

The attraction will operate from 10 am to 7pm.

• More information on the new attraction is available here.


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