It has been years since services ended at the former Metropolitan Church of the Quad-Cities on Harrison Street in Davenport, but a new business owner is looking to provide another "escape."
Jamie Banfield purchased the former church site in 2013 and renovated the building into a new living space. Now, he's looking to bring the escape room craze sweeping the world to Davenport.
Escape rooms are physical adventure games that require participants to solve puzzles within a short period of time in order to escape the room.
"I've always been interested in robotics and building all that type of stuff," Banfield said. "After I saw an online escape game, I thought this is really cool and wonder what is here in the Quad-Cities. I didn't realize they were already here, but with my abilities to create things, it's something I really want to do."
Banfield is currently going through the zoning change process, but has targeted the first of the year as his opening date.
It looks as if he'll be able to as Davenport's planning commission offered its recommendation and only one neighbor has submitted a petition opposing the potential business.
Banfield's request will go before the Davenport City Council on Wednesday for the first of three readings before the change can be finalized.
The worldwide demand for escape rooms has exploded exponentially since the first game in 2006.
From October 2014 to June 2015, registered escape room games rose from 514 to 1,765.
While Asian markets remain the largest consumer of escape games, popularity has increased domestically as there now are 2,239 registered games in the U.S. alone.
Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Adobe and Microsoft have even participated in games as part of team-building exercises.
Iowa currently has 15 registered escape room games with Des Moines hosting six of them.
Bettendorf's Bustout Live Escape Game was the Quad-Cities' first escape room after the business began in October 2015.
Banfield intends to start the business slowly, but if the games popularity is any suggestion, it will grow substantially.
"I'll start with one escape room game in the first year and if it's successful, I'll use more of the church," Banfield said. "It's going to be entertainment for groups of up to eight, but we'll certainly accommodate ones as small as two. So many times we're looking for things to, but there's only so many movies and events you can go to so there's room for this type of entertainment."
For more information on Banfield's prospective business, visit Harrisonstreetescape.com.