BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Secret treasures, killer sirens and Voodoo spells are coming soon to The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem.
Trap Door Escape, which operates three escape room locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, plans to open a fourth location — a pirate-themed facility — in early 2023 at the outlet on Bethlehem’s South Side, it said. co-owner Anthony Purzycki.
“It will probably be towards the end of the first quarter, around March,” Purzycki said in reference to the company’s projected opening date.
Trap Door’s upcoming Bethlehem location, dubbed “Cursed Pirate Tales,” will take you on immersive adventures from Tortuga Island, across the ocean, on a pirate ship, and to the Beast Caves, “where the supreme treasure waiting for you!”, according to the company’s website.
Trap Door’s locations are “anything but conventional” and the Bethlehem location will mix a traditional escape room with theatre, production, massive sets and rum for attendees 21 and older.
“Above all, we create immersive experiences that are multi-room, private, objective-based, and heavily story-driven,” the online description continues. “In other words, we don’t lock you in. Instead, we lock you out of different rooms and make you solve puzzles, complete objectives and win challenges to find out more about the story and environment.”
Trap Door Escape, which also has locations in Bartonsville, Monroe County and Red Bank and Morristown in New Jersey, will occupy more than 11,000 square feet on the lower level of The Outlet.
The facility will fill what were previously three retail spaces, the former headquarters of Christopher & Banks, Corningware Corelle & More and Go! Calendars, games and toys.
It will feature seven experiences, which customers can visit separately via a single ticket ($25-$60 per player) or all together via a day pass with a time limit of 6.5 hours.
Experiences are private with the exception of the Plunder Lounge and Rum Bar, which is also available to non-gamblers.
Among the experiences will be Cannibal Tribe ($25), a 30-minute puzzle-based hide-and-seek game, where participants aim not to get eaten; VooDoo ($45), a 1-hour immersive theater, puzzle hunt hybrid, in which attendees immerse themselves in the ancient spiritual practices of the island’s natives through tribal dance and VooDoo spells (with live actors); Tortuga Island ($45), where participants look for a map to navigate a difficult place, full of drunks, crooks, loose women and secret treasures; Treasure Hunt ($25), a 30-minute treasure hunt, where players must find the place to dig for treasure; Curse of the Pirate’s Ship ($45), where participants must conquer Lady Jane, hostile weather, and killer sirens; and Beast Caves ($60), a 2-hour challenge, where participants must puzzle their way through a 3,000-square-foot cave at the bottom of the Devil’s Triangle.
Trap Door, which opened its first location in Red Bank in 2015, was born out of a script.
Purzycki needed help rewriting the script for his feature film, “Ratred: The Following,” and he took it to an indie film studio, Harrington Talents, according to a post on the Trap Door website.
As it happens, the studio was completing a film with a young production assistant, fresh out of screenwriting film school, and they thought they would be perfect.
The couple began collaborating on other film scripts, writing the horror stories “Theatre of the Devil” and “Cliff’s End”.
“In the intervening years, we dealt with scam artists, rewrites, actor inquiries, meetings in California, and a crash in the independent film market, but produced no films, despite tireless efforts,” reads a post on the website of the agency.
Then, in 2012, Purzycki came up with the idea of streaming an actor trapped in a situation and asking the audience to solve puzzles to figure out where he was trapped. This gave birth to the “Find Me Event” and 1,000 people played for several hours.
Following the positive response from the ‘Find Me Event’, the team pursued interactive entertainment further, with the goal of creating new and greater experiences.
Eventually they moved away from streaming and into live entertainment, writing and producing the interactive show “Windward Hotel,” which allowed a live audience to follow along as a ghost story unfolded over multiple floors of a real hotel.
“It was only after all of this, that we heard about the burgeoning industry known as escape rooms,” the post continues. “It goes without saying that we quickly realized that this is what we’ve been working towards since we met!”
Trap Door will join other entertainment venues at The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem, including the Kids Quest & Cyber Quest supervised children’s entertainment facility and the Angry Jack’s Ax Throwing Club ax throwing facility.
Its imminent arrival will be a breath of fresh air for The Outlets, which lost a string of tenants – including Charming Charlie, Under Armor Bethlehem Factory House and Corningware Corell & More – earlier this year.
The mall, which debuted as The Shoppes at the Sands in 2011, continues to feature well-known brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Coach.