PARK SLOPE, BROOKLYN — A new "escape room" in Park Slope is back up and running after a complicated year-long journey through outdated building codes and coronavirus lockdowns.
Myss Tic Rooms, which had first set up on Union Street in early 2019, officially reopened last month after getting the OK from fire department and building officials.
FDNY officials had closed down several escape rooms last year as they figured out how to make the new type of business work with safety and fire codes.
The Park Slope attraction — technically classified as a puzzle room since doors stay open during the game — had been ready to go under the new guidelines within months, but had to wait again once the coronavirus crisis hit, co-owner Gara Roda said.
"We were done in January and we needed to get FDNY to reinspect us — then COVID hit, and nobody was doing inspections," Roda told Patch. "We got the letter we're good to go about a month ago...now we're open for business."
The new guidelines resolved concerns about readily-available exits in escape rooms by requiring that they automatically open when a smoke detector, fire alarm or sprinkler system is activated, according to the Department of Buildings. They are classified as a "special amusement building" under building codes.
For Myss Tic, the guidelines are a bit different since it is technically a "team building/puzzle room" rather than a typical escape room, according to the Department of Buildings and FDNY.
The DOB and FDNY gave the OK for the business to be classified as an "Office Gaming Use."
"In our case, doors are always open," Roda said. "It's not so much about escaping that room, but about solving that room."
For that classification, Myss Tic had to install a sprinkler system, update its fire extinguishers and spray everything with fire retardant, according to Roda and FDNY.
Extra precautions were also put in place before they reopened because of the coronavirus, Roda added, including hand sanitizer in each room, a mask requirement and an extra 20 minutes for cleaning between games.
"When you book the room you have the room for yourself with your group," Roda said. "It’s a great entertainment thing to do right now because this is something you can do [safely]."
The reopening is the culmination of a longtime dream for Roda and her husband, Moritz Marti, who moved to New York five years ago with the idea for the business.
Roda, who is from Barcelona, and Marti, from Switzerland, had bonded over their love of escape rooms when seeing each other long-distance before coming to the United States.
"We loved to play together," Roda said. "I love the fact that it's a game for adults. It's like being a kid again."
For Myss Tic, Roda used her skills as a professional actress to come up with the theatrical premise for the immersive experience, while Marti handled the business side.
A third business partner, Miquel Llull, who was an engineer with Cirque du Soleil, came on board to bring Roda's concepts to life.
The result is two puzzles that participants can solve at Myss Tic, one with a theme about the fabled ghost at the New Amsterdam Theater and another that takes on a science fiction story set in the 1980s.
"Each game has more than one room," Roda said. "I’m not saying how many — because that’s a surprise."
Take a peek inside the puzzle rooms here:
(Photos Courtesy of Myss Tic).