Before opening the business, she attended seminars on small businesses at Durham Technical Community College, and worked closely with the non-profit Women’s Business Center of North Carolina-Durham, which she called an “incredible” resource for new businesses.
Bull City Escape’s Ninth Street area location was perfect. “I gave up square footage for location,” Cheung said of the space. “I love that we’re surrounded by small businesses.”
Employees at the Women’s Business Center helped her to test the escape room and game. Members of the center also will participate in a group-building game at the Friday opening. The game will be both a team-building exercise and a way to help Cheung grow her business, said Briles Johnson, executive director of the center. Johnson said she had never participated in this kind of game before, “which is another reason why it is very intriguing and exciting.”
Cheung studied psychology and education in school, and brings that knowledge to bear when designing puzzles and games. “All of the puzzles are designed for different kinds of intelligence, so everyone in the group can contribute something,” she said. “The most successful teams are the ones that bring those different kinds of intelligence” to the problems, she said.
People who want to play one of the games can show up individually, or as a group. Cheung recommends reserving a time on Bull City Escape website.
Cheung said she is open to talking to groups about new themes and game ideas. Looking ahead, one of her dreams is to have a larger space, and perhaps multiple themes in different spaces in Durham.
Escape games are “an immersive entertainment,” Cheung said. “You’re not just absorbing something from a screen. … You’re fully present with your team members and you’re working toward a goal” of solving the puzzle.