Ozark Escape Room Provides Immersive Experience for Its Guests

by Mark Jenkins

The next time you’re looking to get out for some entertainment, you owe it to yourself to try something new.

Ozark Escape Room, with locations in Conway and Fayetteville (and a third on the way), may very well be the best entertainment value and experience option around. For about the same price as a movie and popcorn, or going out to dinner, you can enjoy an experience like no other with your friends, family, or co-workers. The company slogan “Create, Immerse, Experience,” which is displayed prominently in the reception area, does an excellent job of describing what your visit is about to entail.

TJ Ross, who manages the Conway location along with his wife Lindsey, is certainly “hands on” when it comes to planning, building, and bringing the Escape Rooms to life. TJ and Lindsay are co-owners of the business along with TJ’s brother Matt. With a background in HVAC and construction, combined with some savvy creative skills, it’s evident that TJ has found the perfect match for his talents.

On a recent visit, I had the chance to sit down with TJ and found that he’s very passionate about what the Ozark Escape team does, and what all it has to offer to the community.

According to TJ, “What I love about what we do is nothing about it is virtual. This isn’t virtual reality. People can go buy a VR mask and do that at home. What we provide is an opportunity for people to put their phones away and interact with others in a real way. They share a real experience together and have a lot of fun doing it.”

Having been a guest at Ozark on two occasions, I can certainly relate to this and agree. For the time that I was in each room, I was totally immersed in the moment. I wasn’t thinking about anything else outside of that room. There were no distractions. The only thing on my mind was looking for the next clue and then trying to solve it. Everyone pitched in and worked together until we successfully escaped. It was truly an interactive event.

For those who have yet to experience an Escape Room, your team or group isn’t left totally alone to solve the series of clues necessary to navigate your way out. At Ozark, an Experience Curator is tracking your every move from a Control Center room. Each team is allowed three assists, or clues, from the Curator to help get out of a jam and move forward.

TJ added, “One thing we are trying to encourage with our guests are return visits to try out different rooms. This isn’t like seeing the same movie twice. Each location has four different escape rooms, and we try to rotate room themes and ideas among locations about every eight months. Some rooms take longer to construct than others, so that can vary a bit, but the point is no two trips here are ever the same. You could easily come several times a year to test your skills in each room and never have the same experience or outcome twice. Also, the dynamics of the experience change as your group changes. Everyone contributes in their own way.”

The Rosses, along with Fayetteville manager Ashley, and their Experience Curators have indeed been very busy. Among their Escape Rooms are: Curtain Call, Hidden Elixer, Bloodbath, Missing, Operative, and Up in Smoke. There’s also a new room in the works which will be divulged as completion nears.

Ozark also has a mobile escape room that they constructed from an old fire truck cab! Be on the lookout for it soon at local festivals and parades. The company also encourages its patrons to submit idea submissions for new rooms via its website at www.OzarkEscape.com, where you can also find complete booking and price information.

The Ozark Escape experience is excellent for corporate events, work outings, team building, students, church and youth groups, as well as birthday parties.

One thing is for sure – this is a great local business whose owners are truly genuine, that go above and beyond to ensure your group’s experience there is a great one. They definitely bring something positive to the community by being here and deserve everyone’s support … Highly recommended!

A sneak peek into one of the escape rooms at Ozark Escape's Conway location on Dave Ward Drive.