If you’ve stopped for coffee or shopped at a downtown boutique lately, you’ve probably noticed Countdown 2 Escape, right in the heart of Frisco’s Rail District.
A couple of years ago I had my first escape room experience there and it turned out to be a very fun Girl’s Night Out. Just as downtown Frisco has evolved a bit since then, so has C2E. Last year, new owners took over and they’re eager to introduce themselves – and a new vibe – to the Frisco Community.
Meet the Hammond’s
On a recent sunny midweek morning, I opened the door of Countdown 2 Escape where a most inviting space greeted me. It could easily be mistaken for the family room in someone’s home. I immediately felt drawn to just sink into an armchair and enjoy a coffee.
I was surprised by the transformation inside; cute furnishings, chandeliers, comfy seating, walls holding carefully positioned frames, and a cozy fireplace.
There, waiting to greet me with a warm smile was Co-owner, Shannon Hammond. She and her husband Fred recently became the new operators of this fun adventure business.
Originally from South Florida, Shannon recalls a population of just 6,000 when she moved to Frisco twenty-five years ago. In particular, she remembers a sign that welcomed you to the area which read, “Frisco – where City pride is justified.”
She and Fred have worked, played and raised their family in Frisco for years. She worked for Frisco ISD and Fred had a successful Corporate career. Finally, they decided it was time for a new chapter and considered opening a local business in the area.
While considering various options, it was important to Shannon and Fred that they find something which aligned with their own core values, principles, and passions.
We love Frisco and wanted to see how we could combine a business with a goal of serving and connecting people face to face. Something that’s really important to us is the idea of leaving technology behind and helping people gather, spend time, and just engage with each other.
Having looked a variety of opportunities, when Countdown 2 Escape crossed their paths, the business model piqued their interest.
Now, months later as they’ve fallen in love with their new business, they describe the heart of C2E this way:
Whether it be the board room, the class room, the screaming kids, the heat, the cold, or even the same old same old, Countdown 2 Escape’s purpose is to you “Escape” the ordinary.
Unplug, Connect, and Engage
Although escape rooms have gained popularity over the years, not everyone is familiar with the concept. An escape room is an immersive adventure game where you and your team assemble in a specially-designed, themed room and have one hour to complete your mission and “escape” the room.
Armed with just your wits and your team, everyone works together through a maze of puzzles to escape the room before the clock runs out.
A common question Shannon hears… “Are we actually going to be locked in the room?” The answer is no… customers can leave the room at any time if needed, and Game Masters are on hand to give clues and guide you if stumped.
3 Adventures to Choose From
Offering a fully immersive experience, you can choose from three rooms, each with its own unique scenario and unexpected twists to keep you on your toes.
The current rooms are about to RETIRE (as of May 6) and they’ll have cool, new concepts installed and ready for use by May 18.
Shannon revealed to us the themes of the three new rooms coming soon: Blackbeard’s Brigg, The Lost Jewel of Zanzibar, and “What Happened in Raven Woods?” (inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven). We can’t WAIT to see them!
But that means that THIS MONTH you need to check out the current, original themes before they’re gone!
Cold War: After a miscommunication between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev in 1972, you and your special forces team have been called to action to disable a nuclear launch initiated by a rogue agent at a small military facility in Nebraska.
Cabin Fever: One day on a weekend trip through East Texas, you come across a small town, one that you overheard a conversation at a gas pump about an abandoned cabin that may hold a stash of cash.
The Mafia Casino: You’re part of a special investigation unit in the state police and there has been a rumor going around the office that there is a mole in the department.
In keeping with the Hammond’s interest in helping people connect, Countdown 2 Escape can cater for all types of groups and parties. It’s a BYOB facility with ample space to eat, mingle, and engage before and after your game at no extra charge.
Or, rather than bring food in, C2E’s location provides a perfect opportunity to visit some of the local spots nearby like eight | 11 Place, Heritage Table, Didi’s Downtown, Randy’s Steakhouse, or The Rail Yard.
Shannon describes how different kinds of groups have enjoyed time in their facility from families, to tween birthday parties, Girl’s Night Out, bridal parties, and corporate team building.
Some of the team building groups even take the time to also film the scenarios and use the exercise to spot team members’ individual talents and strengths. An exercise like this can identify and display the observers from the emerging leaders as they work the room.
The more competitive clients prefer to play without any hints or clues from their Game Master or return on another day to improve their escape rate time from the previous visit.
Most group bookings occur in the afternoon and evenings, but Shannon is flexible to offer times that suit a specific group’s needs.
Sit Back and Stay A While
Countdown 2 Escape wants their business to be more than just an adventure game and party space. Nothing makes Shannon’s heart happier than opening the lobby in the mornings for groups and meetups to spend time together.
Shannon describes how they hope to fuel their passion to connect with the community.
We would love to have guests drop by and use the warm comfortable surroundings for gatherings. We want people to feel at home and to utilize our space to suit their needs. Whether it be a crafting group, a bible study, or a few good friends meeting for coffee, please know you are welcome. Come in and stay a while.
Looking to the future, Shannon and Fred are actively getting to know their fellow merchants in the Rail District and enjoying the connections they’ve made in their journey as new business owners. They’ll continue to explore new room designs for C2E, always striving to cater to multiple generations.
Stop by and visit Shannon and Fred in downtown Frisco. Next time you are ready for a group challenge with colleagues, family or friends why not “escape the ordinary” at Countdown 2 Escape. Escape the weather, escape boredom, escape your desk, and have an adventure!
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see fun pictures of the escape rooms!
6963 Main Street, Frisco, TX, 75034
Monday: 2:00pm – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 2:00pm – 8:00pm
Thursday: 4:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday: 2:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 10:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am – 8:00pm