EXCITING NEWS: Beautiful New Escape Rooms are now open in Holmdel! The Community is Welcome to Escapology Holmdel's Grand Opening this Thursday, September 24th 11:30-7PM at Bell Works. Official ribbon cutting ceremony is at 5PM sharp. DJ, tours of the Escape Rooms, enter to win a FREE APPLE WATCH, free escape games and t-shirts, and deep discounts for future bookings. Other businesses in Bell Works will have live music, whiskey tastings, art auctions, many great sales! Cousin’s Maine Lobster Food Truck will be parked outside from 11:30-7PM. FacebookInviteDetails. Now check out some cool info about Holmdel's new Escapology:
HOLMDEL, NJ - You are aboard Air Force One when all the engines simultaneously come to a halt. As the plane begins its dive toward a crash-landing, you only have one hour to save President Reagan and figure out who is trying to murder him. No big deal.
This is one of several scenarios Escapology, the world’s largest escape room franchise, provides its customers with. Holmdel’s Escapology is having its grand opening between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 at Bell Works. A Cousins Maine Lobster food truck will be in attendance and the ribbon cutting will happen at 5 p.m. sharp. Co-owners pictured below, Michael DiChiaro, Michelle DiChiaro, (couple on the left) and Ana Minniti and James Minniti invite you to join in on the fun.
“One of our most important goals is making sure that our customers are getting that escape from reality, with the full immersion of the game and with the people they want to be with,” Michelle said.
The Holmdel venue originally opened in early March, but closed only four days later due to pandemic. They reopened their doors on July 2 with a soft opening, and have taken extra measures to ensure the safety of their customers and staff, according to Michael. He said they have increased the time frame between games to allow for a thorough cleaning. Besides disinfecting everything that is touched, they also use a machine that sprays the rooms with disinfecting fog.
Escapology is operating at reduced capacity, due to the pandemic, and Michelle said they have adjusted to this limitation. Now that indoor dining is returning, they have begun to host birthday parties again. They have decreased the size of their birthday packages to accommodate smaller groups, and partner with local businesses for the food portion of the packages.
“My favorite room is the private party room because it’s a little taste of normalcy,” Michelle said. “With everything going on with COVID-19, just knowing that I can close the door and just be with my family makes a big difference right now.”
Escape rooms at Escapology are strictly private, so customers can have the comfort of enjoying the escape with their loved ones. There are a total of six games at Holmdel's Escapology, two of them being recently added. One of them will be replaced with a seasonal game, “Saving Santa,” between the months of November and January.
One of Michael’s reasons for loving Escapology is how versatile the games are. While there is a list of games that all Escapology venues are allowed to choose from, Michelle said Michael and James “add all the bells and whistles,” to make each room unique. Michael also said they appeal to all ages.
“From an 8-year-old all the way up to a 90-year-old grandfather, your family could be multigenerational while playing a game together,” Michael said. “There are not a lot of things in this world that you can do with great-grandpa, grandpa and dad.”
Michelle loves Escapology for many reasons, but especially because it offers a sense of family and a chance to bond.
“I think during this time, the most important thing to do is give people time to be together,” Michelle said. “Yes, we’ve all been able to communicate, but how? This is about putting our screens down, getting away from the phones, getting away from the computers and just talking.”
Besides presenting customers the opportunity to momentarily slip away from their lives and enter someone else’s, Michelle said they are passionate about giving back to the community they are a part of.
Escapology began selling t-shirts this month to raise money for 9/11 funds. Michelle said they chose this cause because they know lives were taken in 911 from Holmdel, Middletown and other local towns, and they wanted to show their support. Every month they will choose a different cause to highlight, with 25 percent of each t-shirt being donated to the selected charity.
Michelle said they all look forward to working with organizations on future fundraisers, as well as hosting team building events, date nights and holiday parties.
“Holmdel is about the community and what we want Holmdel to know is that so are we,” Michelle said.
Escapology launched a scavenger hunt around Monmouth County on the week of its grand opening. The scavenger hunt will begin on Sept. 20 and end on Sept. 24. Michael said participants have to like the venue’s Facebook page, watch the daily live videos they will post that week and go to specific local businesses to get clues. On the last day, participants will receive a final hint along with the opportunity to solve the riddle and win a free Apple Watch. You can visit https://www.facebook.com/escapologyholmdel to get started.
Besides promoting their grand opening, the scavenger hunt allows Escapology to promote local businesses, something they are passionate about. “Our scavenger hunt is our way to highlight small businesses who may need it right now during this COVID-19 world,” Michelle said.