When David Jopp was growing up in Nottingham, England, he probably didn’t envision that he would run an exciting puzzle/game experience here in Portland, Maine. But that is just what he does. He visited his first escape room down in Florida. Despite a first experience that wasn’t super positive, he recognized the powerful feelings of excitement and anxiety generated from being locked in a room. And he’s been hooked ever since. He told a friend that they should open one… the rest, as they say, is history.
David is Co-founder and owner of The Escape Room, located on 492 Congress Street in Portland. While they opened a first iteration back in 2015 with a single room, they are currently expanding into a new purpose-built space in the same building. This project has taught him a lot about permitting, the cost of building, and what it’s like to manage a large project. In this new space he’ll be opening a fourth room and will learn how to manage ‘game mastering’ four rooms simultaneously.
When not working at The Escape Room you can find Dave enjoying an English Fry Up, playing soccer, re-watching Forest Gump or hanging out at the OBP. Dave believes becoming an OBP member is possibly “one of the best moves The Escape Room could have made”. He explains that being part of our community helps him and his staff learn new and more advanced woodworking skills as well as gain access to advanced equipment such as his favorite tool — the Laser Cutter. This raises the quality of their props and therefore The Escape Room itself. Or as Dave puts it, working with OBP “allows us to offer a better product.”
I asked Dave what was the coolest puzzle he’d ever seen. He described a typewriter that types the wrong keys. We can only hope we can help him make something as cool as that. But whatever happens, we’re psyched to have a member as awesome as Dave. He is an inspiration in they way he learns and shares with other members. We hope we can continue to inspire him to push through his challenges and keep learning and dreaming big.
If you haven’t been to the Escape Room, you should — it’s a pretty awesome experience, so awesome, in fact, it has inspired our own escape room April vacation camp.
We’ll see you around the shop.