Carrie Rengers

A Derby escape? Apparently lots of people want to

Eric Petre, left, and Curtis Fischer are moving and expanding their Puzzle Plex escape room in Derby. The two also have started the Wichita Area Room Escape Society.
Eric Petre, left, and Curtis Fischer are moving and expanding their Puzzle Plex escape room in Derby. The two also have started the Wichita Area Room Escape Society. Courtesy photo

Derby’s only escape room is proving popular, so owners Eric Petre and Curtis Fischer are moving and expanding the business.

Currently, Puzzle Plex is in 1,500 square feet at 614 N. Mulberry Road. That’s by City Hall, but Petre says it’s still hard to find.

“We just have very little visibility where we are right now,” he says.

The business, which opened in June 2016, has three escape rooms.

At its new space at 301 E. Madison, there will be 3,200 square feet and enough space for six escape rooms, a party room and video games.

“We really wanted to upgrade,” Petre says. He calls this “just a big upgrade all around, really.”

Puzzle Plex has started taking bookings for some of its new rooms for Jan. 11 and beyond. The rest of the rooms probably will be ready in early February.

Stephanie Wise of John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal.

Petre and Fischer have a Kickstarter campaign that will give supporters rewards to use at Puzzle Plex for helping out.

“We’ve been pretty popular,” Petre says. “We definitely are ready to grow.”

Petre and Fischer also have started the Wichita Area Room Escape Society.

There are six members out of the eight or so escape rooms in the area.

“We don’t see the other escape rooms as competition,” Petre says. “We see them as collaborators.”

They created an Escape Wichita app that directs players to all the area escape rooms and offers incentives for going.

Petre says it makes sense for the businesses to support one another.

“We try to work together.”

Industry Old Town recently added five pinball cabinets for its patrons, a decision that's proven popular. (Matt Riedl/The Wichita Eagle)

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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