THE Scots firm which opened the country’s first escape rooms has expanded into a new market as it prepares to launch axe throwing experiences across the UK.
Edinburgh-based Escape has established ‘Game of Throwing’, which will open its first four venues in Chelmsford, Hull, Newcastle, and Plymouth in the coming weeks.
Urban axe throwing is a global trend that originated in Toronto, Canada, and is set to take the UK by storm as indoor entertainment returns following the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
The urban axe throwing experience involves groups of up to six booking their own enclosed and safe throwing lane or lanes, which come with a coach who will teach everyone how to throw an axe safely in a 15-minute training session.
Similar to a darts game, axes are thrown 12ft away from a target board, with different scores awarded for the different rings and the bullseye on the board.
Axes are only ever thrown down empty, enclosed lanes under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor at all times.
Players must be aged 10 and over, wear closed-toe shoes only, and there is no alcohol available at venues.
As well as groups of friends, the concept is particularly popular for corporate team-building events.
Escape was the first escape room operator in Scotland, opening in Edinburgh in 2014.
From its first premises in the New Town, it now has over 200 rooms across the world which have been visited by more than 300,000 customers, and it employs around 150 workers in the UK alone.
Prior to the pandemic, Escape built the challenge for the escape room world championship in London, and last year designed an interactive experience for cast members of Coronation Street for the show’s 60th anniversary.
Daniel Hill, founder of Escape and Game of Throwing, said: “The Covid pandemic caused huge challenges for the escape room industry, but the lifting of restrictions means that indoor entertainment is starting to resume.
“As well as re-opening our Escape venues, we’re ready to launch the first four Game of Throwing venues in England.
“Urban axe-throwing experiences are increasingly popular around the world, and with massive growth expected in 2021, the model could become the number one indoor entertainment for adults this year.
“Following a year when people have been unable to get together with friends and colleagues, it offers an opportunity to book a fun, safe indoor experience that many people won’t have tried before.
“We look forward to opening our doors to customers and launching more venues in Scotland and across the UK and Ireland in the months ahead.”