AP NEWS

Aiken’s escape room, Aiken 2 Escape, has a new owner

April 9, 2019

After two years of running Aiken 2 Escape, owner Christy Lynn recently decided to sell the business to a new owner.

“It has been an amazing and exciting adventure to bring such a fun business to Aiken,” said Lynn. “I appreciate all the support we received from the community.”

Lynn decided to sell the business because she is often deployed to other states as an Emergency Disaster Manager for FEMA. She called the escape room “one of the greatest adventures” of her life and said she would miss it “immensely.”

“I am, however, very excited to see the future of Aiken 2 Escape in such good hands,” Lynn said.

The new owner, Liz Bellmer, worked for a company in Georgia for about four years that developed puzzles and props for escape rooms.

Escape rooms are physical adventure games that require players to solve puzzles, riddles and other mental challenges to exit the room in a certain amount of time.

“The escape room industry itself is something that’s always been very interesting to me,” Bellmer said. “I love the creative side of it.”

Bellmer was a stay-at-home mom for 24 years. She discovered her “creative side” while working in the escape room industry in Georgia, but decided she wanted to do more in the business.

“The way I looked at it, I was waking up every morning to fulfill his (my boss’) dream, and I had to wake up and fulfill mine,” Bellmer said.

She visited Aiken 2 Escape and said she was impressed by the escape games and the potential of the facility. Her four children have played all the games together.

“I just kind of walked out of there and didn’t say it out loud, but to myself and any higher power, I thought, for this amount of money ... I would do this on my own,” Bellmer said. “I didn’t want to partner with anybody. I wanted it to be something that I did.”

They closed the deal last Monday. Bellmer said she has no plans to change the staff and would like to take a few months to carefully study the business before deciding whether to make any significant changes to the games.

One change she does hope to make within the next three months is to make the fourth escape game, which is normally open at Christmas, a year-round game. She also plans to have the business open on Thursdays in addition to the weekend.

Another goal of Bellmer’s is to get companies and businesses more involved with Aiken 2 Escape.

“I really want to start focusing on corporate team building,” Bellmer said.

Bellmer said the escape room is a “great tool for management” that can help improve cooperation and employee relationships in the office.

Ultimately, she said, her goal is to make sure people have fun.

“I want people to leave there having had a good time,” Bellmer said. “I want families and friends and groups to leave there having a good time.”