A new tourism experience is about to hit one of Brisbane’s most notorious goal cells, the Boggo Road Gaol. The site will be brought alive with an interactive Escape Hunt experience on the historic site ahead of the site closure and redevelopment later this year.
Called Escape Hunt, the concept was imported from overseas by siblings Giovanna, Matt, Simon and Paul Shakhovskoy who stumbled upon it during a trip to Cape Town in South Africa.
The four then set up Escape Hunt Brisbane and from their home-base in West End the business offers three different onsite adventures with six game rooms.
Director Giovanna Shakhovskoy said the one-of-a-kind immersive escape experience uses puzzles, hidden items and collective and creative problem solving.
“It’s a Sherlock Holmes cross Cluedo cross How to Host a Murder or (the movie) Saw without the gore. But instead of it being every man for themselves the objective is to get all 84 people of at once. Players have to complete unique and important objectives that add to the overall plan.”
“The Gaol has a rich history and we hope to highlight that in an experience that people won’t forget,” Shakhovskoy said
“It’s definitely a new concept for Australia, and as far as we know it’s the first time in the world an escape adventure has been held in a goal. We see it as a way to put Brisbane on the map, with an interactive and immersive entrainment experience in a heritage listed site.”
So unique is the offering, it has already started to attract interest from inter-state.
With bookings coming in from a wide cross section of the community; everything from corporate team building, school groups to bucks and hens parties.
It’s not all fun and games. A lot of behind the scenes work goes on to get the escape experiences up and ready, and that means jobs for Brisbane. Escape Hunt Brisbane has 13 paid staff, which includes four full time people. The latest project set to generate even more positions.
“We have scope to hire another 12-15 staff for the event at Boggo Road Gaol plus further work experience opportunities for design and tourism students. We are doing game design internships with QANTUM College, we’re working with students in Buzz around QUT university courses, and we’re pulling students in for game and tourism experience”.
Brisbane Marketing CEO John Aitken said the new Escape Hunt is an example of Brisbane’s unique entrepreneurial spirit across different industries including tourism.
“A New World City is an innovative city that expresses its creativity through new companies, products, services and ideas”, he said.
“Brisbane is the right environment for young entrepreneurs to build new ideas in a supportive environment while creating more job opportunities for the city. Such as Escape Hunt Brisbane who have brought history to life in a contemporary way.”
Organisers expect to attract up to 3,000 participants over the 9 days its open from September 28 to October 7