While Escape Rooms have been a popular pastime for people for years, Shannon and Fred Hammond, owners of Frisco’s Countdown 2 Escape, said they understand the appeal.

“People are looking to have a unique experience competing in an activity or team-building [exercise],” Shannon said. “We’ve tried to create that feeling of fun and welcome.”

Each of the company’s three escape room scenarios invites players to solve a puzzle or mystery while the clock is ticking. Each room is an immersive, 60-minute experience for up to eight players.

The couple purchased Countdown 2 Escape in 2018. Shannon previously worked for Frisco ISD and Fred worked in corporate America. Both were looking to buy a Frisco business.

“We wanted a business with a focus on connecting people,” Hammond said. “An important feature was that this would be a happy, fun experience where people would put their phones down and really interact. So, we host all kinds of outings from birthday parties, to ladies’ night out and youth groups. We’ve even helped facilitate a marriage proposal.”

During the pandemic, the Hammonds relied on the paycheck protection program loans to stay afloat and support their dedicated employees.

“A big focus for my husband is sharing his corporate experience with our employees in the form of coaching and mentoring," Shannon said. "Keeping valued employees is very important.”

Countdown 2 Escape still employs many of its pre-pandemic staff, the Hammonds said.

Now, the venture has a new offering: portable escape rooms, launched in November 2022.

“For the portable escape room experience, we bring a Game Master to a location and create a timed, self-contained game,” said Hammond. “Escape rooms can be a great team building or party activity. This is a great new way to grow our business.”

Hammond said the portable escape room offering requires a minimum of 12 players and can accommodate up to 100 players with 10 teams playing simultaneously. She added that they can customize the room for the client.

The rooms at the business are ranked beginner to moderate, medium, and difficult.

Business information:

Countdown 2 Escape

6963 Main St, Frisco

972-325-2025. www.countdown2escape.com.

Hours: Open by reservation seven days a week