Of course we'll keep an eye on the reviews posted on Escapetalk. When we saw The Escape Room Rijswijk scoring more and more raving reviews we got curious. An appointment was made quickly and after playing two of the three rooms we were so impressed that we wanted to get to know the people behind this location better. In between our visit and the publication of this interview they even got picked as one of the public favorites for 2017 on this website.
Twins Tim and Kevin de Klerk had heard a lot about escape rooms and also saw the famous broadcast of De Wereld Draait Door on escape rooms. However, after playing their first room, they knew enough: this was what they wanted to do. So they decided to set up a crowd funding campaign. Together they chose to appoint Tim as the key figure during the crowdfund action: "We always had the idea of doing it together, but we could not tell the company we both worked for because we did not know if it would become a success. That's why we decided to make Tim the public figure with Kevin supporting him in the background. A pretty hard time for Kevin, to keep that secret."
The crowdfunding campaign, however, became an overwhelming success: with a huge list of investors they were able to start. They were (and are) assisted by the creative team of Wouter, Maurice and Roy.
"We always had the idea of doing it together, but we could not tell the company we both worked for because we did not know if it would become a success. "
Opening of the first room
Half a year after the crowdfunding action, they already openend their first room: Jack The Ripper. They chose a well-known theme, so that many people would be able to imagine it for themselves: "So almost everyone immediately had an idea about the our first escape room: the serial killer from London, a little exciting of course."
During the construction they found out that electronics would be a big expense. They decided to call the Media Markt. Tim thought Kevin was crazy, but within three days the deal was made. "For the first two years, we're displaying the Media Markt logo next to our own logo, helping and reinforcing each other where necessary," said Tim. A smart commercial deal for both parties.
Not long after the first room a second room followed: The Hangover. A totally different theme and room. In the meanwhile they also helped create the Maffioso room of The Cube in Hellevoetssluis.
With all the experience gained (what do people like? What do they expect?) they began working on the new room: Jason’s Curse. For this room, they stepped away from the "regular" themes. They decided to go for a completely new story. They wanted to push their own boundaries and make the experience even bigger. "We've figured out the decor in advance, gathered everything we could and just wrote about our new room for more than three months," said Tim. During the building they got even more nice ideas and for the finishing touch they dediced to bring in a decorative painter. The software for the room was also developed by an external party. Everything had to be perfect. With the Escapetalk team, we played this room, and we can only say they have achieved their goal. We also weren't surprised when Jason's Curse popped up in the top 3 of rooms on Escapetalk.
"We've figured out the decor in advance, gathered everything we could and just wrote about our new room for more than three months."
Highs and lows
As a highlight, they mention all the compliments of customers and other owners about the newest room. "We can really enjoy that!" Escape Room Rijswijk stands out according to them because they take the time to give each group a good time that they will not soon forget: "It already start upon entering our building, where we warmly welcome our guest. We enjoy it when customers leave our escape room raving! Attention for our visitors and customer service is paramount. "
They also do not have to think long about a low. Tim: "Our very first group. Months of hard work, chasing your dream. A moment you've been waiting for. Two weeks of testing and no problem whatsoever. The group is about to enter the room and a screen stops working. We restarted everything and tested it again. It works. Lights out, group entering the room. Screen stops working again. After 45 minutes we found out that the monitor was plugged into the wrong socket. When we switched off the light in the hallway, the screen also went out. Afterwards we laughed hard about it... "
On Facebook we encountered an old video about a kids room that they seemed to be working on. However, this plan seems to be pushed to the background for now. They are busy thinking about future plans though: "When we entered this industry we always said that there were 5 years of money to make. After that you have to be among the very best or in a tourist location." They absolutely want to keep going in this industry, but also see opportunities for doing things in other sectors, for example in the catering industry. After the construction of Jason's Curse, the motivation to build is greater than ever. How, what and when, they don't know yet, but they're talking about it.
"We enjoy the rooms designed by owners / staff members themselves the most. Here you feel the passion and immense love for escape rooms."
They're escape enthusiasts themselves. It does not matter if the rooms are little with low tech or next level escape rooms: they want to escape everywhere. The creative team has played more than 70 rooms in total already. Asked for their favorite escape rooms, Tim answered: "We enjoy the rooms designed by the owners / staff members themselves the most. Here you feel the passion and immense love for escape rooms. Examples include: The Girls' Room (Bunschoten), The Vault (Sherlocked) and without a doubt Room 237 in Volkel, but there are a couple of rooms on our wish list that might totally mess up that top 3."
According to them the the development in the escape room world for the coming years is mainly in making the ultimate experience. A complete experience in a lifelike setting. "Participants become part of the story that has been fully thought out and with all the used technology it will feel like the players are in a movie."
If we ask if they want to add something else we get the following compliment: "We are very happy with Escapetalk.nl as a community that adds just a little more than some other websites. Keep up the good work, I'd say! "
Also feel like playing one of the rooms at Escape Room Rijswijk now? Go to their website!