Best local shop & best shop assistant: District 8 | paNOW | Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

“Locking people up never gets old,” joked Renae Smith, owner and general manager of District 8 Escape. ‘We even had a few wedding photos taken in one of our escape rooms. So yes, there has been a lot of laughter in the last two years and some very memorable moments. “

An escape room is a live action game where groups of players have 60 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and answer riddles. District 8 Escape currently has 4 different themed rooms with a wide range of storylines and difficulty levels.

This year District 8 Escape has won two Prince Albert BOB Awards. They are repeat winners of the prestigious “Best Local Owned Shop” and Smith has added “Best Store Clerk” to their collection.

“When we started this journey, we just wanted to bring some pleasure to Prince Albert. Raised here, it’s pretty special to run a business that provides entertainment and excitement for our area, “said Smith.

Renae runs the daily activities, while her brother Chris Fuss and his wife Carolyn form the creative team. “Everything you see in our rooms is made to measure,” says Smith. “We don’t buy escape room packages or premade games. It takes a lot of work, but Chris and Carolyn are very detailed and they have done a fantastic job of bringing their ideas to life.”

Major plans are underway for Prince Albert’s best local store, as they have two new rooms planned for the summer of 2020.

“Oh Chris and Carolyn have been busy,” smiled Smith. “They have so many cool ideas and sometimes I am amazed by what they come up with. I often get random text messages with concepts about new puzzles and room themes. It is really nice to see how the rooms come together from theory to reality. “

None of this would be possible without their expert space and game installation program, Nick Smith. Renae is enthusiastic about her husband’s craftsmanship and attention to detail.

“His installations are flawless,” said Renae. “Chris and Carolyn have come up with some wild ideas and Nick never misses a beat. He likes the challenge of creating the ultimate experience for the players. He is proud of his work and you can see it. “

The newest room of District 8 Escape, “Your Game of Clue”, is a hit with the locals. Players are sent in search of the suspect, the weapon and the room in this unique gaming experience. After you have solved the crime, the end will make you speechless.

“When players reach the end of the game, they literally scratch their heads and wonder: how is that even possible? Every game has a unique ending and the reaction the players have is priceless, “says Smith.

With a new room that has just been opened and two more on the way, there is no delay for the five-time Prince Albert BOB Award winners. View their Facebook page here.