650+ calls to Craigslist and Loopnet ads
83 repeated calls to different cities to talk about zoning
35 tours of potential rooms…
We’d been thinking about escape rooms for awhile. During Christmas of 2015, we finally agreed that we would work together as a family and start a room of our own.
We thought we would be open in three months. We were wrong.
After sifting through the regulations of all 34 cities in Orange County (including several cities in Riverside and Los Angeles County), we finally found a good home in Brea, California. A lease was signed in June of 2016.
“But it’s February 2017!” You say incredulously.
Well, yes. We can explain.
The CUP (Conditional Use Permit) took about nine weeks when everything was said and done. We had papers to fill out, interviews to do, and advice to seek out. A city council meeting had to be scheduled. Luckily we got there.
When September rolled around, we got busy talking to builders, electricians, and painters. We knew we would have to submit plans to the city but we didn’t realize what a long and involved process it would be.
Or how hard it would be to find a quick and affordable architect!
But we persevered.
From September to October, we finalized our architect and official building plans. Then there was a three week delay with our (hard-won) architect as he got swamped with holiday projects.
We were able to finally submit our building plans to the city on November 28th, right after Thanksgiving. #thankful
And we were thrilled when Fire called the next day with corrections. But we had to wait almost two more weeks for the Building Department to finish. Once we got the corrections, we rushed them back to the architect only to get stalled out another two weeks.
To make a long story short (too late!), the city of Brea officially approved our plans on January 6, 2017.
Construction has now started.
But that’s a whole different story….
See what our reception room looked like when we started out…