As recently as 2014, there were only 22 escape rooms in the United States. Three years later, the number had ballooned to about 2,000. Today, there are well over 2,300 escape rooms.
Evidently, escape rooms are trending. Every day, there are thousands of Americans looking to have an escape room experience for the first time.
As an entrepreneur looking to start an escape room business, you know that trending markets or industries present an ideal opportunity to cash in. However, if you jump on a trend at its tail end, you’ll certainly lose your investment.
This brings us the question: just how long will the escape room trend last?
Continue reading for more insight.
Understanding How Trends Work
Trends, by default, fizzle out. Some die down almost as soon as they start, and others take several years before they eventually disappear.
The escape room industry appears to conform to the latter. Although the first escape room was opened in 2004 in Japan, it wasn’t until 2011 that the first room was set up in the United States. Almost a decade later, the industry is now blooming.
When you have a good handle on how trends work, it’s easier to make the right business decisions. You’ll start the business fully aware that you won’t be in it for the long-term, so you’ll have an exit strategy.
What’s Driving the Escape Room Trend?
To figure out how long a trend will last, it’s vital to go behind the scenes and learn about the driving forces.
In the US, millennials are the key reason escape rooms are booming.
Millennials live for adrenaline-inducing experiences — and they have the money to splurge. Three out of four millennials prefer experiences over physical things, and they have a collective spending power of $600 billion.
Banking on millennials and the fact that the escape room industry is far from being saturated, it’s safe to say the trend is here to stay. However, the same millennials have a reputation for losing interest in things and moving on to the next trend.
This means escape room operators have to find a way to attract more customers from generation X, generation Z, and even baby boomers.
How Escape Room Accidents Can Affect the Industry
There haven’t been any major escape room accident in the U.S., but if it happens, the consequences can be far-reaching.
Take Poland, for instance. When five teens were killed in an escape room fire, the country didn’t hesitate to ban 13 such establishments.
If a deadly accident were to happen here, there’s no doubt the relevant government authorities will take appropriate preventative measures. This might involve enforcing policies or regulations that make it costly to start and run a profitable escape room business.
In effect, such a move could put a damper on the entire industry and accelerate the death of the trend.
Escape Room Businesses: Here for the Long-haul?
As a savvy entrepreneur, you always want to cash in on trending markets, such as the escape room industry. However, it’s smart to take a step back and ask yourself how long a trend will last before you go all in.
As far as escape room businesses go, there’s every indication the trend is here to stay. And if not, then it’s yet to hit new highs.