Great Escapes Inman offers a new experience for the community

On Aug. 20, after much wait and anticipation, Great Escapes Inman opened to the community. Over the last three years, Inman has expanded, and now there is an escape room added to the up-and-coming city. 

Inman was the best fit for us because of the availability of a commercial space and the fact that Inman is really on the move,” owner Tim Blackwell said.

The Blackwell family has had a lot of experience with escape rooms over the years, having done over 60 escape rooms in their careers. Their goal is to share their love with the Inman community. 

“Our hope is that other people grow to love escape rooms as much as we do,” said Blackwell. 

The first room Great Escapes opened is called “Nowhere to Be Found.” 

The storyline is this: A man named Otis owns a service station on Highway 9. Otis has never taken a vacation or day off in his life, but he has now decided to retire soon. He leaves for a short vacation and asks his friend Earl to watch the station while he’s gone.

Recently, however, Earl has disappeared. That in itself is a problem, but the situation gets even worse because Earl has the key to release the pressure valve in the service station. 

If the pressure valve is not released every hour, the station, called the “Gas N Go,” will explode.

The sheriff has asked you and your team to search the service station to find Earl and the key before time runs out.

When building and forming the plot for “Nowhere to Be Found,” Blackwell and his family wanted to bring a fresh perspective to the classic escape room and ensure a memorable experience for all guests.

“We wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience, something you can only see at Great Escapes Inman,” Blackwell said. “We’ve never seen a theme like Nowhere to Be Found anywhere else, and that was really exciting for us.”

Escape room enthusiast and senior Ellie Mitchell had been eagerly awaiting the coming of Great Escapes because it was so close to home.

“I am so excited because I love doing escape rooms, and the best one I’ve found before Great Escapes is in Greenville,” Mitchell said. “I don’t like driving on the interstate, so I am very happy that it is in Inman.”

Mitchell recently went to Great Escapes and had nothing but good things to say. She especially appreciated how Blackwell and his family had worked to get the people of Inman involved with their business.

A couple of weeks before Great Escapes opened, they asked the public to send in pictures of themselves fishing. Mitchell sent in a photo and got to see it featured on the wall of the Gas N Go.

“I enjoyed that it was different from anything that I’ve ever done and (that) they had community involvement; my picture was actually in the escape room,” said Mitchell. “I think that’s a great way to bring the community in, and I’m so glad they did that.”

Mitchell explains that even those who have completed many escape rooms, such as herself, will find themselves challenged by “Nowhere to be Found.”

“There were a bunch of new puzzles that I’ve never seen before in any escape rooms,” Mitchell said. “Of course, there were the locks that are in every one, but without giving too much away, there were some tricky ones that I have never seen before.”

With such a great turnout of the new addition to Inman, the Blackwell family hopes to continue to spread their love of escape rooms in the upcoming years. 

“One major word comes to mind when we think about our future- Growth!” Blackwell said. “The more we can grow, the more we can ignite others’ interest in escape rooms. We hope to share our passion with this community we love so much and get even more people interested in their own adventures.”

And the Inman community is behind them for every step of their journey.

“I hope that they do so well and come up with more escape rooms because they are great people and their escape room was really fun,” Mitchell said.