- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The owner of a former church in Davenport is planning to turn it into an “escape room,” a type of game that’s becoming increasingly popular.

Jamie Banfield renovated the former Metropolitan Church of the Quad Cities after purchasing it in 2013, according to the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/2dSl602 ). He turned the building into a living space, but is currently going through the zoning change process to turn it into an escape room.

Escape rooms require participants to solve puzzles within a short period of time to get out of the room. There are currently more than 2,200 registered escape rooms in the U.S.

Banfield’s request will get the first of three readings Wednesday in front of the Davenport City Council. The Davenport planning commission offered its recommendation, and so far only one neighbor has submitted a petition against it.

“I’ll start with one escape room game in the first year and if it’s successful, I’ll use more of the church,” Banfield said. “It’s going to be entertainment for groups of up to eight, but we’ll certainly accommodate ones as small as two. So many times we’re looking for things to do, but there’s only so many movies and events you can go to so there’s room for this type of entertainment.”

The Quad-Cities’ first escape room was Bettendorf’s Bustout Live Escape Game. Iowa currently has 15 registered escape room games - six in Des Moines. Banfield’s goal is to open the escape room at the beginning of 2017.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com


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