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Escape room tests patrons’ skills

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Sarah Blount uses an ultraviolet flashlight to examine a map in the 'FBI Catch the Cat and Mouse Killer' room on Thursday at No Idea Escape Room in Tarboro.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 17, 2019

TARBORO — The escape room craze has come to Tarboro, with an eastern North Carolina couple now having such a business in the rear of Riverside Plaza.

Kourtney Thompson and her husband, Nick, opened the No Idea Escape Room on Feb. 8 in Suite 37 in the shopping center at the intersection of West Howard Avenue and Western Boulevard.

Much like other escape room establishments, players booking with the No Idea Escape Room end up shut in a room and have to figure out a way to get out within a certain time frame by detecting and interpreting clues and puzzles.

“The fun of it is teamwork," Kourtney Thompson said. "You get to try things that you've never tried before. You get to learn skills.

"It's a great way to mingle and meet people."

She emphasized the No Idea Escape Room is good, sober fun.

"I'm a mom," she said, "I don't go out very often."

She said people mainly come to the place in the evening because that’s when they have free time and can get together in groups.

Kourtney Thompson and her husband live in Williamston and noted the absence of an escape room in the Tarboro area.

"And so we decided to do one here. We're both creative people," she said.

Kourtney Thompson showed the two rooms players can enter.

One is called the "Lost in the Jungle Temple" room.

The idea is a team of people, after becoming lost in the jungle, enter the ruins of a temple.

As the team enters the structure, the door closes from behind and they have 60 minutes to find a way out.

"Otherwise, you'll end up like Henry the skeleton over here," Kourtney Thompson said of a depiction of human bones off to one side of the room.

The other room players can enter is called the “FBI Catch the Cat and Mouse Killer” room.

The idea is a team in the bureau’s headquarters is tasked with rescuing the newest, but still-surviving victim from a criminal who has already killed two others. The team’s goal is to save the victim, catch the criminal or do both.

​Kourtney and Nick Thompson are Midwestern natives.

Kourtney Thompson, 29, is from Lincoln, Ill., and Nick Thompson, 34, is from Albion, Ind.

Kourtney Thompson said she came to North Carolina approximately six years ago because she had a friend who lived in the state, went to see the friend and ended up staying in the state.

She said she has sold credit card machines, worked for the Dollar General and Family Dollar chains, worked for the Subway sandwiches chain and presently sells Aflac Insurance on the side.

As for the No Idea Escape Room, Nick Thompson said he hopes the place succeeds.

He noted that he and his wife have spent a lot of time and worked hard in designing the rooms.

"We spent about a year saving up,” he added.

Nick Thompson said he used to work for agribusiness giant Perdue Farms in Lewiston Woodville.

The couple has a son, Goku, who’ll soon be turning 2, and Nick Thompson is a stay-at-home father.

People interested in knowing more about the No Idea Escape Room can go online at www.tarboroncescaperoom.com

The No Idea Escape Room is open from 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Mondays, 1 p.m.-11 p.m. on Thursdays, 1 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, 11 a.m.-midnight on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-midnight on Sundays.

The No Idea Escape Room can be reached by phone at 641-6519 and also has a page on Facebook.

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