Unlocked History Escape Rooms Entrepreneur Profile

November 5, 2018

Phillip Riese is the owner of Unlocked History Escape Rooms, an escape room experience that lets you explore local history through themed puzzles and riddles. Phillip came up with the idea to bring escape rooms to Charlottesville while living abroad in Germany where they were already growing in popularity. Knowing that he was moving to Charlottesville, a city with a rich tapestry of local history, Phillip decided that he would open a historically themed escape room once he moved back to the States.

Phillip explains that he attended CIC’s Entrepreneur Workshop to learn the skills necessary to transform his notional concept into a physical small business. Phillip notes that CIC not only helped him learn new strategies in regards to marketing through interactive activities like discussion leader John Copper’s class but also helped him to improve upon skills which he already had by connecting him with resources. Another aspect of CIC’s workshop that Phillip appreciated, “was the feeling of camaraderie within his own group as well as within the organization itself”.

In five years, Phillip hopes to run five escape rooms at his current location by expanding to another floor and eventually hopes to open new locations in historically significant locations around Virginia like Lynchburg and Richmond.

As for his advice to other entrepreneurs, Phillip says that “you must live without regrets. I knew that if I didn’t open [Unlocked History Escape Rooms], I would have regretted not trying to.”