|Escape Rooms Mesa was founded by Danielle and Jason Tomerlin in 2016. Danielle spontaneously leased a space for her own Escape Room after only playing three escape rooms in town with her husband Jason.
The business started by maxing out a low limit credit card. It was a slow start as escape rooms were new and most advertising was simply spent educating the public that such games even existed. About a year later, after some steady growth, Danielle put in an offer to purchase the building the escape rooms were leasing. This is where the SBDC came in.
Chase Bank insisted that they speak to Katie at the SBDC about their business and get information about SBA loans. While buying the building was important, it was equally important to have Katie on their side.
“I didn’t realize how helpful and nice it was to talk to someone about my business that wanted us to succeed as much as we did. Katie and the SBDC had a different way of thinking and leveraging assets, staff, and capital that I wouldn’t have considered alone.”
Since beginning their work with the SBDC, Escape Rooms Mesa has gone from a small 3 room facility, to the largest Escape Room complex in the United States. They started with 1 employee, had 5 when they came to the SBDC, and now have over 20! They also have branched out into offering franchises, and have two that are up and running. In 2019, they also began leasing space at the Renaissance Fair.
Danielle is one of my favorite clients! She is funny, smart, driven, and a joy to work with. She comes to every meeting prepared, with her homework completed, and ready to take on the next challenge. She has also been a wonderful asset to our mastermind group. She brings incredible insight and focus to each meeting. I look forward to seeing her each month and love our meeting days!” — Katie Boddy, Maricopa SBDC Business Analyst