MASON CITY | After a venture into the escape room business, Tyler Anderson and his partners, Phil Hafstad and Josh Eckert, were ready to expand. 

With about 8,000 visitors logged within its first two years of operation, Escape Clear Lake cemented itself as a tourism destination in North Iowa, bringing visitors from as far as three hours away. 

Now, with the opening of a second location just south of Music Man Square in Mason City, the owners hope to offer even more entertainment options for kids and adults alike. 

"This kind of just started off as let's just get our foot in the door in the industry and try it out, and now its turned into a second location," Anderson said.

The two locations, known collectively as Escape Iowa, give participants the opportunity to play in a live-action puzzle, where groups must work together in a "locked" room to solve a series of clues to escape with 45 minutes on the clock. 

With more space than the Clear Lake location to play with, Escape Mason City will offer three rooms with different themed escape situations. 

During its opening on Thursday, the Music Man Caper escape room will make its premiere. In the coming weeks, a 1960's era Sean Connery as James Bond themed room will open and an Indiana Jones room is set to open later in the fall.

The feedback from visitors has been consistently positive, Anderson said, with many saying they were thankful for something for adults to do in North Iowa. 

"We're anticipating another 3,000 to 4,000 people a year at this location which would be a huge success for us," Anderson said. 

"Especially with the Renaissance Project and other things happening downtown, we feel like we are in a really great location."

Bookings for both locations can be made at escapeiowa.com.

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