I am starting this blog to try and chronicle all of the trials and tribulations that go alone with getting in to the escape room business and why it is an obsession and love I have held for all of my life.

Let me introduce myself, my name is David Korhonen and I am a Walt Disney World fanatic. I am just over 50 years old but that does not in anyway diminish my child like fascination the magical moment where technology meets fantasy. Ever since my first trip to the magic kingdom I wished for my own Haunted mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean attraction where I controlled the technologies that whisked the guests  away from reality and in to a special world where fun and adventure abounded.

This love dictated my career choices and although it was not theme park related I became certified and educated in all  matters of Industrial controls and automation systems. I managed municipal water treatment systems for thousands of people and designed systems for cities all over north America and even Korea.

But still my real passion was Disney but no one in Canada was hiring Imagineers ( a Disney term combining imagination and engineering). The closest I could come was working with the Shriners and magician Tim Drake on the Shriners Haunted Mansion and building my own fully automated haunted house in my garage every Halloween.

Fast forward to Thursday March 26th 2015…The day that would change the rest of my life.

I was a member of a local maker club called UNLAB  and the organizer contacted my to see if I wanted to help another local company integrate fun electronics into their business.

I had never heard of Escape rooms but from the second I met Shawn and Emily and saw the wonderful place they had created I knew I had found the missing link for me finally becoming an actual Imagineer. 

I immediately started a company called Korhonen Entertainment Effects and Controls and then Escape Room Resource  went to work first developing effects and props for Mad Tea Party than moving on and automating Pandemic, Cabin fever and Crystal Scull.

With every project I learned new tricks and techniques such as RFID and communication protocols. My shop now included 3d printers, a CNC router and a metal mill and metal lathe and a  electronics lab that rivals NASA (actually I have been associated with projects for NASA twice).

MSK

Early hand wired Master Show Kontroller (MSK) for Crystal Skull

Programming Pandemic

Programming the missile launch on Pandemic

 

I worked for other companies such as Exodus in Winsdor installing electronic and effects heavy rooms like Vanished and Amnesia as well as doing all of the electronics for Escape Canada’s franchise business in Hamilton with Twilight, Lost, Alcatraz and most recently the very scary Tales of the crypt.

Crystal Skull

Shawn very Happy we are almost done Crystal Skull

I loved my business but always wanted to work with Shawn and Emily because I knew that our combined skills would be the trifecta that could create rooms that in the words of Steve Jobs  would be “insanely great”.

But they already had built their rooms and they were fantastic,  to jump in and replace everything would not make very much sense financially but

destiny had another idea.

A 20 story apartment idea that threatened to tear down everything that Shawn and Emily had worked so hard for.

Some people would have just relocated to another similar sized building and relocated the existing rooms but not Escape Canada, They wanted everything to be bigger better and more wow and to do that they wanted to join with me to create London’s Premier Escape Rooms of course I said Yes!!!  and the partnership was born.

Next ….. Growing Pains and False Starts