1. Business

Escape room comes to Ybor

Mouse Trap Escape, an escape room experience opened in Ybor City. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Needle.
Mouse Trap Escape, an escape room experience opened in Ybor City. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Needle.
Published Jan. 25, 2017

Jennifer Needle came home from work one night, turned to her husband and said "I can't do this one more day."

The next morning she quit her corporate job to open her own business, Mouse Trap Escape, an escape room experience.

"I traveled a bit for my previous job and experienced escape rooms throughout my travels," Needle said. "My husband and I have seven kids and I wanted to show them you can follow dreams, open your own business and do something that makes you and those around you happy."

The Ybor City business celebrated a soft invite-only opening on Jan. 20 and a public opening on Jan. 21 at 1701 N 14th St.

Guests are grouped into teams and get one hour to follow clues to their escape from a classroom, a Sherlock Holmes murder mystery room or a Jose Gaspar room.

These concepts continue to pop up throughout Tampa.

"I think they are so popular because you get a real life experience," Needle said. "It challenges people. It gives you an insight into what the other person is thinking. You're happy, sad, frustrated and proud. You experience a whole range of emotions while trying to escape."

Needle is taking guests out of the rooms and into the streets of Ybor to search for clues by incorporating a pub crawl for adults into the mix.

"You'll get a map of Ybor that the chamber published this year, highlighting local businesses and then you'll get clues as you go through the pub crawl," Needle said. "It's a great neighborhood atmosphere in Ybor so we wanted to work with the other businesses."

Needle is shooting for next Friday (Feb. 3) to start the pub crawls.

If a pub crawl isn't enough incentive to escape, maybe a giveaway will be one.

Every quarter, there will be a giveaway to the quickest team, adding even more competition to the game.

Needle plans to host an official grand opening once the Gasparilla festivities are finished.

For more information, to stay up-to-date on a grand opening and newly added rooms call, (813) 241-6833 or visit,

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