New week - new escape room. Phenomenon of the Polish escape room industry
Every week a new escape room opens in Poland. What does this mean for this industry, which has weakened in recent years? Is there hope for it to return to its best years?
According to data released by Lockme - a European marketplace and the largest escape room directory in Poland - on average, one new escape room opens in Poland every week. Between January and September 2022, 35 rooms have opened (source: lock.me), and many are also being modernized and improved. Companies that 2 years ago were on the verge of bankruptcy and facing the decision to close, today are opening another new room this year.
Recent years for Polish escape rooms have been difficult. At the end of 2018, there were about 1,000 escape rooms in Poland. Unfortunately, the incidents of the following years have weakened the industry. As a result of the tragedy and fire in the Koszalin escape room, which occurred in 2019, as well as the increased inspections, almost half of the country's escape rooms closed down. The following year didn't start well either - in early March 2020, the government announced the first restrictions related to the new COVID-19 virus. Some time later the government tightened these restrictions and announced complete lockdown, which many companies did not survive. During the 2 years of the pandemic, companies operated for several months. Is 2022 any calmer? Unfortunately, no. A war broke out at the end of February, resulting in a crisis in many industries, rising inflation and less and less money in wallets. So how is it possible that the industry is booming?
People are giving up on vacations, so they are looking for entertainment
Some companies, like Exit19.pl from Wroclaw have put all its eggs in one basket. The company, despite the uncertain global situation, took a risk and built an escape room, which was ranked 9th in last year's TERPECA ranking.
However, not everyone had the courage and funds to take such a risk. So what has changed? People's attitudes have changed. Many Polish people can no longer afford a foreign vacation, or often even a short domestic trip. Therefore, they are looking for entertainment to compensate for this lack. This is benefiting the escape room industry, among others. According to information provided by Lockme, the company noticed a monthly record for the number of escape room bookings in August 2022.
The global situation continues to be tense, and it is impossible to predict what lies ahead this year and next. In the same way, the situation of the escape room industry is uncertain, but its ability to adapt to new conditions and its will to survive makes us optimistic. In addition to keeping our fingers crossed for the owners of escape rooms, let’s gather a team and go to the room we all have been thinking about so much for several months. Especially us, escape rooms enthusiasts, who love this entertainment and want it to continue to develop and release its true potential.