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Meet the Owners

In late 2020, Mark and Bonnie Lesney were looking at a new business venture in a post-COVID world.  Mark had recently moved to SC from Austin, TX, and Bonnie was wrapping up more than a decade-long career in substance abuse treatment programs.  They were looking for a new way to utilize Mark’s tech and business background, and Bonnie’s background in psychology.

At the same time, they were becoming enthusiasts for a recent(ish) trend that was gaining ground.  The couple enjoyed these immersive adventure games that challenged their mind (and at times, their relationship!).

One day, after a particularly terrible experience at one of these “escape rooms”, they began to talk about what they would want to create in their own games.  That was when Mark suggested that the new business they were looking for, may be right in front of their faces.  Thinking he must be joking, Bonnie brushed it off.  But a few days later, after thinking about it more, she said those three words everything budding entrepreneur wants to hear from his wife…”Let’s do it.”

The next 7 months were a whirlwind, as the Lesneys began to source commercial property, begin construction, and start to decide on game themes.  After meeting a couple from a Key Largo, FL company Kingdom Escape Games, the couple purchased the game “Robert’s Relic”, which they later renamed “Voodoo Shack”.  They also purchased a game from a developer called “Master Illusionist’s Parlor”, which featured a more beginner friendly Houdini-like theme.

On July 1, 2021, Trapped in the Upstate officially opened their doors.  In August, they opened “The Legend of Lizzie” game, which was Bonnie’s first full game design.  Once learning that they could created successful games with Bonnie’s puzzle design and Mark’s tech and set work, they were off.  “Saving Santa” opened in November 2021, and “Camp Survival”, a challenging 30 minute mini-game opened in December 2021.  The couple is on track to release their newest game, “Asylum” in June 2022.

Since opening Trapped in the Upstate, nothing has been the same.  A new business venture is always a risk, and is often scary.  But the rewards have been great.  Mark and Bonnie are so blessed to have the support of the Greer, SC and the escape room community.  They love their players and supporters and can’t wait to continue to provide a fun and exciting experience for friends and family in the upstate SC area.

THANK YOU for supporting our small business, and we can’t wait to see you at Trapped!

Mark

Favorite game to host:  Voodoo Shack

Favorite game played:  Doggone Alley, Exit Games, Wilmington, NC

Best at:  Physical puzzles

Terrible at:  Logic puzzles

Favorite location to play:  Atlanta, GA

 

Bonnie

Favorite game to host:  Saving Santa

Favorite game played:  Jack the Ripper, Odyssey Escape Games, Alpharetta, GA

Best at:  Logic puzzles

Terrible at:  Searching

Favorite location to play:  Atlanta, GA