Virginia Beach business challenges visitors to escape in 60 minutes

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(Breakout at 3852 Virginia Beach Blvd. photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

(Breakout at 3852 Virginia Beach Blvd. photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

A new business in Virginia Beach kidnaps customers and holds them hostage. It also recruits thieves and creative investigators.

Breakout, an escape-based game business, celebrated its grand opening yesterday at 3852 Virginia Beach Blvd. The business, which launched last year in Lexington, Ky., has 21 other locations. This is the first outpost in Virginia Beach.

“Everybody wants to try something they can’t normally do on a regular basis,” Cameron Snodgrass, operational manager for the Virginia Beach location, said in an interview.

The games at Breakout certainly differ from more routine fare such as bowling or miniature golf. The four 60-minute challenges offered are Kidnapping, Museum Heist, Hostage and Operation: Casino. All involve using clues to piece together a storyline and find answers that lead to a breakout. Tickets are $24, and groups can range in size from two to eight.

(photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

(photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

“People have fun when they’re being challenged, and when they feel smart,” Quinn Adams, manager of corporate training for Breakout, said in an interview.

Adams believes Breakout will do well in Virginia Beach, in spite of a local competitor who also offers an escape game.

“I think it will be pretty great, it’s such a large area,” Adams said. “You get tourists, and you also have a huge population here.”

Each group receives a “game master.” This employee can see and hear the participants at all times via video, but will not be in the room with them. The game master will prod the group with small clues if it becomes stuck.

(photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

(photos by Hillary Smith/Southside Daily)

The courses include a myriad of minute and intricate details participants must piece together to find answers before 60 minutes are up. The smallest details matter in these games, and will tip participants off to secret compartments, obscure messages and additional mysteries.

If one hour is up before a group solves its challenge, the game master will walk the group through the details it missed and provide positive comments on parts where players excelled.

Even though the games remain the same for the most part, customers tend to come back because of the challenge factor, Snodgrass said; people want to succeed.

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