The Douglasville City Council voted Monday to approve a escape room from Escape Woods. The escape room is coming to 8440 E. Courthouse Square.
Escape Woods is in Powder Springs and is based on a farm that co-owner Brad Kimmel's father-in-law has owned since 1980. Many of the rural area scenes from the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things" were filmed on the farm.
One of the reasons for coming to Douglasville is that at Escape Woods, many visitors ask if there are any nearby places to eat. Kimmel said since there are no restaurants near the Powder Springs location, he advises many of the visitors to come to Douglasville as the nearest place to eat. He said bringing his business to downtown Douglasville allows his customers to spend an entire night in the area by visiting restaurants like Gumbeaux's, Fabiano's, Irish Bred Pub and others.
"If we don't have millennials coming into our town, hanging out here and doing things, this county will die in 20 years," building owner Brandon Thompson said at a meeting with the Douglasville Zoning Board on Nov. 7.
After the council approved the special land use permit unanimously, Councilman Mark Adams shared his excitement with some humor.
"I'd just like to say thank-you to the applicant and for all those involved," Adams said. "We look forward to that. I know I shared my experience on Thursday night. Just hope we have a lot of young people in the group to help us old people get out of the house."
Each escape room will accommodate eight to 10 people and there will be a room downstairs available for those unable to go upstairs in the building. The average cost for a participant is about $30 after tax, Kimmel said. Games are reserved through the Escape Woods website and once the reservation is made, details like where to park and what time to arrive at the building will be given.
Thompson talked to the Sentinel earlier this year about his idea to bring an escape room to the downtown area. In April, Thompson said Escape Woods approached him with an idea for the escape room.
"They have a vision to make this escape room a 1920s downtown Douglasville hotel," Thompson said in April. "(Their idea is) that a band of robbers hijacked the train (across the street), took people hostage, put them in this hotel room and now they have got an hour to escape."
The council also agreed to go with APD Urban Planning and Management to prepare the redevelopment plan for about 250 acres of land surrounding the Highway 92 relocation project.
Elena Hudson, from downtown's Hudson's Hickory House, was appointed to the Post 1 position of the Douglasville Downtown Development Authority, a term that expires on March 22, 2018.
Mayor Rochelle Robinson clarified that her trip to Savannah with the Atlanta Regional Commission was paid for by the ARC and that the city didn't have to pay for any of the expenses during the meeting. The council also approved giving city employees the same holiday bonuses they received last year, which is $300 for full-time employees who have worked for six months or longer and $150 for part-time employees who have been working for three months or longer. Every employee receives a $20 gift card as well.