“The solution often turns out more beautiful than the puzzle.” Richard Dawkins
One of the biggest complaints people have about the North Country is the lack of “stuff” to do. Mostly gone are the days of bowling alleys, arcades, rollerskate rinks, and other fun places for friends and family to gather. If you’re not a skier, snowshoer, or snowmobiler and you don’t want to go to the movies, trying to find some fun, especially during the Winter months, in the North Country can be a challenge.
And now a pair of local North Country sisters are changing that.
Meet Becky and Libby Staples, two local North Country sisters who have just opened a new, exciting business in the North Country. The Staples Sisters recently opened Time Quest NH on Mill Street in Littleton, and from their website at www.timequestnh.com, “Time Quest NH is a live action escape room game in Littleton, NH. Your team will have one hour to solve clues, puzzles, and tasks. Communication, teamwork, and skills of observation are essential to escape.”
Escape rooms are a live, physical adventure game in which people are "locked" in a room with other participants. They have to use elements of the room to find clues, solve a series of puzzles, and escape the room within 60 minutes. This promotes creativity under pressure and improves team communication.
North Country Local recently sat down with Becky Staples to learn more about what Time Quest NH brings to the North Country. Time Quest NH had their first public game on January 21st of this year, so they’re a brand new business in the North Country. When asked what they bring to the North Country, Becky says: “To bring our love of games, puzzles, and fun to the area that’s something fun and different for people to do.”
“Most of the people who have come to us have never heard of escape rooms before,” says Becky. “A big part of what we’re doing is teaching people about what escape rooms are, how they work, and a lot of people say when they’re done “When’s the next one open?”
They currently have one room open now, “The Attic”, with “The Detective’s Office” coming soon, “which is lining up to be a totally different experience.” Here’s the description for “The Attic” from their website: “You've received a strange and mysterious invitation in the mail from Alice Pemberley. Stories have been told about the old Pemberley house and its eccentric owner but exactly what secrets it may hold, nobody knows for sure... What makes the invitation even more mysterious is that Alice Pemberley died last week. Your invitation simply reads: ‘Come to my attic. You'll have one hour. More will be revealed.’ Can you follow the clues and discover the secrets in the attic before your time is up?”
Sounds exciting, right? Sounds way more fun than sitting home and watching TV, right?
“Libby and I love games, and we love puzzles, and we have since we were girls,” Becky shares. “Our first escape room experience was in Portland for my dad’s birthday, and we absolutely loved it. It was a great combination of puzzles, mysteries, and games, all the things we grew up loving. Then we started talking about the experience, and thinking about what we would do differently, and after lots of talking, we decided to give it a try. We started working on a business plan together, I relocated to NH in October, we found the space, and we haven’t stopped moving since.”
All you have to do is visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/timequestnh to see team upon team of people - whether families, friends, classmates, or co-workers - all having a blast having figured out the room.
Becky, 42, had never owned a business prior to this. “I really appreciate the freedom to take some creative risks...my background is in education and my master is in counseling, and I recently left a job of 8 years of corporate work, and this is so much fun. There’s a lot of uncertainty and there’s a lot of space to try new things and meet new people...I’m probably working twice as many hours as I was, but it doesn’t feel like work.”
When Becky talks about her experience as a new business owner, you can see the light in her eyes as she speaks about her new passion in life.
“I love watching people interact with one another, it’s a real privilege to watch these teams come in. They start out uncertain and a little bit nervous...they start getting into it and the energy starts to build, and when people have discovered new things, they’ve totally lost their sense of time. ‘Oh my gosh, it’s only been twenty minutes?’ We get to give people an experience that’s fun and gets them away from the everyday and brings them great memories.”
Since the business was first conceived, there’s been nothing but a learning curve for Becky. “There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do. It’s such a learning curve to learn everything from insurance to building amenities to fire codes to social media and taxes, it can be overwhelming. It’s making me grow, because I like to be prepared, and owning a business you can’t be prepared all the time, so the learning curve can be a challenge sometimes. It makes it hard, but it’s always stretching me.
“We’ve had a lot of fun watching people play the game. ‘How long am I going to be locked in that room?’ people ask. We always assure people they’re not going to be locked in, we’re right here with you through the entire game, and we’ll definitely let you out. When people get past that, they just let loose and have a fabulous time. People get nervous that it’s too intellectual, but you’re guaranteed to have a good time. It’s so much fun to watch them and their energy can be really infectious.”
If you’re looking for something fun, unique, and unforgettable to do with family, friends, classmates, or co-workers, remember Time Quest NH.
“We’re here to give people a really fun, unique experience,” says Becky.