INTERVIEW – Celena Gates of PanIQ Room – ESCAPE ROOMS

Please introduce yourself.
I am Celena Gates the manager of PanIQ Room Hollywood. Technically. I’m not the manager of MagIQ Room yet, but will be in the near future once the partners move on to open the next location.

Why did you decide to get involved in the escape room industry? 

My involvement in escape games is quite random. I played my first escape game almost two years ago and have been hooked as a player ever since. I was offered a job at the PanIQ Room shortly after they opened. My love for escape games started as a player, but it quickly became just as much fun to lock people up. I quickly became more involved in the full operation.


What makes your rooms unique?
PanIQ Room is unique in that some of the games are imported and custom made in Hungary. MagIQ Room is the only escape game, that I know of, tailored specifically for kids.
What do you think is the most important part of an escape room design? 

The best escape games I have been to have an immersive decor around the room and a solid game. The decor of a room sells the story to get you emotionally invested, but the puzzles are what keep you interested in the entire experience. If I had to choose, I would rather have good puzzles in the game over anything else.


Please share with us a fun story that has happened with your company. 

We had a guy propose to his girlfriend inside the Bunker, which was pretty unique. She had no idea their friends and family were decorating our waiting area while they played the game. Also, it was funny that he came in a few days before to learn the game so he didn’t look like a fool.


What advice do you have for players?
The best advice I have is for players to communicate the entire time. You should constantly be sharing what you are finding and thinking even if it may not be useful. Most escape games don’t require previous knowledge so it’s not about how smart you are. Successful teams are those that work well together and that starts with your communication with one another.