We take tourism very seriously.
When we started Improbable Escapes, I don’t think we realized how it was a part of the tourism industry in Kingston. We were just looking to create a fun experience after working in the escape room industry previously.
For those that don’t know Improbable Escapes’ story, we opened our doors in 2015 after previously working at another escape room and wanting to create an experience of our own. We travelled across Ontario trying to find the perfect city, and we stumbled upon Kingston. Before visiting, all I really knew about Kingston was that both Queen’s University and the Royal Military of Canada were Located here (university was fresh on my brain as I had just graduated at the time). We fell in love with the city and people, dropped our careers at home and moved to Kingston within 5 weeks to set up shop.
We lived at 298 Bagot Street, our first location. We dumped all of our money into the business and had to quickly renovate the unit, so living there for a few months was our best bet at making sure we opened properly. We opened with our very first game, The Great Escape. After a few months and a few employees, we opened up our second game, The Office. That fall, we had our first tourism partnership with Fort Henry National Historic Site and created a game for Fort Fright.
Flash forward a year, and we moved across the street to 303 Bagot Street so we could expand. To date, we have 4 in-house games (with one on the way), an outdoor game, and we have games across the world in different facilities. We’ve also had the pleasure of working with various organizations such as Parks Canada, St Lawrence Parks Commission, Murney Tower National Historic Site, Bellevue House National Historic Site, City of Kingston, and so many more.
Last night, we won the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce’s award for Tourism and Hospitality. We don’t take this award lightly: we are so honoured to be recipients of this award! Our fellow nominees are incredible businesses, and we were surprised to have won. Adam and Devon, our game developers, attended the gala in our absence.
L: Adam accepting the award for Improbable Escapes; R: Devon and Adam holding the award
We are currently in Italy and have been touring Europe (and soon Africa), to learn more about experiential tourism offerings so we can bring it back home. We woke up to the news that we had won, and we are incredibly excited about it!
We would like to thank everyone that supports us and gave us a chance: St.Lawrence Parks Commission, Parks Canada, Bellevue House National Historic Site, Kingston Transit, City of Kingston, Murney Tower National Historic Site, Kingston Destination Group, Kingston Association of Museums, Visit Kingston, Kingston Accommodation Partners, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Military Communications and Electronics Museum and so many more people and organizations that have supported us the past few years.
We’re incredibly excited to reveal our upcoming plans to you soon. You’ll love it! And we hope that it’ll bring many more visitors to our city.
Melissa + Emma from Italy!