KeyMasters Joins Alcatraz Escape Rooms
On November 29th, 2018, we at KeyMasters Escape Rooms had the great pleasure of announcing a partnership with Alcatraz Escape Rooms (on Concession). Since the time of the announcement it has become evident that we haven’t been clear enough about what that REALLY means, so we’d like to explain…
This merger has been in the works for over a year at the time of the announcement, with one simple goal in mind, “To make the best possible escape rooms in Hamilton/southern Ontario”. Anyone who knows either company knows we are all passionate about escape rooms and customer service is our #1 priority. The other thing you will notice is the dedication we put into building each room, Alcatraz is known for their great set designs, KeyMasters is known for their unique puzzles. We wanted to bring all of that together for the Hamilton area (exciting right?).
How it was going to work:
The logistics of it were simple, we (KeyMasters) still 100% own and operate our location at 305 Grays Road in Hamilton and they (Alcatraz) still 100% own and operate their 2 locations at 576 and 604 Concession Street, BUT moving forward we will be 50/50 partners on any new locations. Awesome right? We think so too!
In April 2018, we had found a great location in Hamilton to open what would be our 4th location in the city (combined). We went through all the city paperwork, got our permits, and started building the best room we have ever built (The Graveyard).
A few months go by, and the room is REALLY coming together and looking great, a lot of new tech we’ve never used so we’re taking our time and making everything look just perfect. All is going well, until we start to really notice our new landlord isn’t getting his agreed upon work for the building completed. We start to contact him more and more, with promises of work being completed soon and yet nothing major is happening.
More months go by, the Graveyard is nearly complete, reception and our control room look great, bathrooms and hallways are looking perfect. We’re ready to start testing/open! But we CAN’T. Without the work being done by the landlord, we cannot operate; we have no A/C or heat (winter was near), no signage, common areas weren’t complete, the building was not ready.
As communication with the landlord started stalling, we decided the best move for us was to stop working on the new location and build new rooms at our current ones. So Alcatraz went to Concession, to build “The Call of Duty” and we went to Grays Road to write and build “The Alley”.
As time had past, we all were very excited to be working together still on projects and wanted to tell the world of our exciting plans for the Hamilton area. We decided we would announce the merger of the two highest rated escape room companies in Hamilton with a great Christmas Gift Card offer (Every $100 or more you spend, receive a FREE Escape Room in a box game, valid for our (at the time 8 rooms, now 9, going on 10 rooms) in Hamilton. Perfect for any escape room lover in our area, so many options with 1 gift card from 2 high-rated companies.
Unfortunately the promo, didn’t sell as well as we thought it would, which left many questions on the table (too many to list). So now we’re in limbo. What do we do? We’re all under the Alcatraz name, and ready to do great things in our industry, but we have hurdles we weren’t expecting (but that’s the nature of a business owner).
The BIG Hurdle:
The biggest hurdle for us (KeyMasters), was the merger. The merger, though great, left our location in the dark for our online presence. Google wasn’t listing us like it used to, people were having a hard time finding/contacting us all of a sudden. Business REALLY slowed down (understandably), and that is not good. On top of it, our loyal customers/fans and friends, were under the impression that Heather and I (Greg) have left the escape room industry and Alcatraz had bought us out.
We received many messages and emails from you guys (you are all awesome, we love you guys), asking if we had left the industry and it was evident that we needed to be clearer with everyone. Heather and I (Greg) still own, operate and have FULL creative control at the 305 Grays Road location, and Nathan, Zoltan and Beni still own and operate the locations at 576 & 604 Concession Street.
With all this being said, we had to make a decision to be able to regain our online presence once again for our location (305 Grays Road in Hamilton, Ontario) and because of that, (and it might be clear already because of the website you’re on) we have decided to go back to our KeyMasters Escape Rooms name for our location.
What does that mean?
It means the same thing it did 2 months ago, we’re still working to try and open this new location with the Alcatraz team, but we have decided that each location will fall under a new Escape Room name. We are open to suggestions, so if you’d like to leave a comment below about a possible great escape room name, we will take it into consideration.
I hope this blog answers all the questions everyone has had over the last 2 months. This truly is most of the information we have on the subject, but if you have anymore questions, please feel free to contact us.
Greg & Heather – KeyMasters Escape Rooms Hamilton.