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How Much Does It Cost to Open an Escape Room?

Do you want to start an escape room business and want to know the cost? If YES, here is a cost breakdown to open an escape room and the profit margin / ROI.

An escape room can almost be referred to a live video game where people go to solve puzzles or do other stuff in a bid to break themselves out of a stressful situation. Entrepreneurs set up these rooms to help people get challenged, as well as to enable them blow off steam.

Today the escape-room landscape is mostly dominated by smaller businesses, each operating one or a handful of rooms in a single city or region. Many of these small businesses are owned by enthusiasts who saw the trend taking off and decided to strike out on their own.

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Costs Involved in Opening an Escape Room Business

Depending on the location, the cost of rent, the games and the complexity of the room design, opening an escape room business can cost anywhere between $7,000 and $30,000. A business license and insurance are among your opening costs.

Props and furnishings are another. Some escape game rooms provide elaborate costumes and set designs that include laser lights, while others keep their sets relatively simple.

You will also need to spend money on walls, props, puzzles, etc. when you first build your room (and any additional rooms you build). The costs will vary based on how much of the construction you can do yourself. In addition to those one-time costs, you should also be prepared to spend money repairing your rooms.

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Whether it is from player misuse, or just wear and tear, you will need to replace props along the way. Website maintenance with educational information about escape room gaming and promotional advertising are also necessary expenses, especially since this type of business is so new and many people are still unaware of how escape room games work.

Your advertising may include something like Facebook ads, print ads, or perhaps hiring a costly advertising agency to promote your business.

Most games cost $25 to $30 per person for a one-hour game, and typically allow 10 to 12 players at a time. For owners, the chief costs are payroll and rent, plus the one-time expense of building the room out. Some rooms comprise little more than a table with pens and paper. Others involve elaborate sets and technical wizardry

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How Much Does It Cost to Start an Escape Room?

The price varies between $15,000 and $50,000 as it depends on many factors, including the rental value, a business license and insurance, salary of the manager and other employees, the cost of equipment, and the cost of the games. On average, the initial investment in equipment is about $3,400, other expenses are calculated individually for a certain room.

Franchise Cost for an Escape Room

Buying a franchise is a great way to minimize risks and develop your business in a more stable and consistent way. The cost of one VR escape room for one player is $25, and the maximum number of game sessions per month is 300. All figures are approximate.

  • The cost of equipment is about $3400.
  • Game manager salary is $3500.
  • The rental value is $2 per sq.ft.
  • Royalties are calculated based on the number of VR escape rooms.
  • Providing that the monthly gross income is $3750 from one zone, royalties make $750 (20%).
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How Much Profit Can An Escape Room Business Make?

The escape room business can be extremely lucrative. For example, Escape Expert opened in Dallas in February, 2015 and is now earning approximately $70,000 per month.

Similarly, the owner of Puzzle Break, another successful escape room business, started in 2013 with only $7000, and had a projected yearly income of approximately $600,000 less than two years later. SCRAP says revenues grew by 800% in its first year in the U.S. — a staggering figure even in light of today’s fast growth.

Things That Can Influence Your Escape Room Startup Cost

Depending upon the skills you have on hand (puzzle design, graphic design, carpentry, programming, accounting, finance, customer service, real-estate, law… there are a lot of things to do when you start an escape room company), you will either need to do these things yourself or pay someone to do them for you.

  • Complexity
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Rooms can range from very simple paper, lock, and safe games, to complex sensor-driven games. The more complex your rooms, the more it would cost you to build. What you choose and how you construct it will indeed have a big impact on your cost.

Keep in mind that the industry is moving towards more beautiful, technologically driven games. If you build a cheap room in a competitive market, you will likely be blown out by your competition.

  • Location

Where your escape room is located is another factor that can increase or decrease your startup cost. If in a highbrow area, it would cost you more than if you are in a cheaper neigbourhood.