A look at the growing number of escape rooms in the Lower Mainland

231,000 That’s how many people have tried to solve their way out of one of Exit Canada’s 11 “escape room” locations since founder Justin Tang opened North America’s first, in Richmond, in 2013. Tang, who has seen nine competitors crop up in Richmond alone in the three years since opening, says he expects to get even busier by the new year as winter sets in and the indoor adventure industry hits high season for corporate team-building. Tang says escape rooms have become a go-to for company outings because, unlike paintball or laser tag, participants work together toward a common goal—and managers can watch how each individual performs. “Because they are so separated from the real world, their true personality comes out,” he says. “You can actually see who has the material to be a leader, who blames others, and who doesn’t do so much.”