WORCESTER – Mask? Check.
Now what’s your weapon of choice?
That’s what you hear before you walk into the smashing room at Smash the Room – where you’re given the option of a bat, crowbar or hammer to break everything in sight.
Smash the Room — located at 108 Grove Street in the Northworks Building – is a new venture from Jason Eastty, owner of Escape Games Worcester, and is set to open this sometime month in a small room next to the game rooms of Escape Games.
The idea of the room is to serve as a place of release of anger, stress, or simply to break up the monotony of your daily routine.
“The majority of the responses have been awesome. People are really excited about it,” Eastty said when asked if there was any buzz about breaking things.
According to Eastty, he was first introduced to the idea of a smash after reading something online about a similar room somewhere in Texas.
“I found it very interesting and I sent it to my set designer Carlos Torres and said ‘We have to do this.’ That was maybe a year ago,” Easty said.
He added, “I realized there was nothing like this in New England and I said ‘We want to be the first in the market.’” We really amped up doing it and we had the open space. There’s not much of a risk involved in it from a financial standpoint. We’re really just looking for things for people to break.”
In fact, Eastty said, the whole project – from lighting, fencing, weapons, an oil drum and a few other items to round out the look of the room only cost him around $800.
Thanks to the low overhead, the prices at Smash the Room will be relatively low [depending on what the customer wants], Eastty said. To date, the prices haven’t officially been set [there are some listed on the company’s website, but those are tentative at best] and Eastty is still determining them because he wants “to avoid people being unhappy.”
Once Smash the Room really takes off, Eastty has plenty of ideas to keep things entertaining and to keep customers wanting to come back to break more things.
“There’s a lot we can do with this in terms of custom rooms. We’ve considered setting up a room to recreate the scene from Office Space. On Valentine’s Day, maybe we will do something where you can bring a photo of your ex.” Eastty said.
Eastty opened Escape Games – currently home to four live action escape the room games – in January 2016. The fifth and newest room, The Experiment, is set to open sometime in October.
Although they will be run as two separate entities, the hours for Smash the Room will remain the same as Escape Games: Thursday and Friday 4 PM to 10 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM. Private corporate events for both businesses will be held Monday thru Wednesday.
The current Escape Games staff of nearly a dozen employees will also be running Smash the Room.
Ultimately, for Eastty, the goal is to purchase a building and build a complete “experiential venue” in downtown Worcester in the near future.
“Every game room would be 1,000 square feet minimum. I want it to look like a city inside the building with street lights, street signs, big build outs of tall skyscrapers – that sort of thing. Like Jordan’s Furniture [in Natick] has it set up, but just fun,” Eastty said.
And then I want there to be food trucks lined up around the building and I want us to host paint nites, cocktail classes, cooking classes – things that make you want to go out and you touch, feel, and use your brain and actually experience something,” he added.
According to Eastty, although numbers were at a typical low in the summer [70 to 80 percent of the scheduled rooms were full] he’s heading into the busiest time of the year for Escape Games [Oct – Dec] where he had more than 90 percent of his available game rooms filled on the schedule last fall.
“I’ve been very fortunate. [Escape Games] is such a cool idea. And it’s such a fresh and new industry. A lot of people still don’t know we are here in Worcester, but we’ve still been successful right from the start, and we are gearing up for even more of a presence in and around the city,” Eastty said.