Behind the Scenes of Unlocked History: Launching Our Blogging Journey

Part of our Escape Room Team

Greetings, fellow adventurers, escape artists, and curious minds! Today marks an exciting moment in our journey—an opportunity to connect with you on a deeper level through the Unlocked History Escape Rooms blog. I’m thrilled to have you join me on this new adventure of storytelling, exploration, and historical intrigue. Allow me to take you on a journey behind the scenes, as we embark on this exciting new chapter.

A Glimpse into My World

I’m Phil Riese, and as the co-owner of Unlocked History Escape Rooms, I’ve had the privilege of crafting immersive experiences that blend history, puzzles, and adventure. My motivation for starting this blog is to share not just the stories within our escape rooms, but the stories behind them—the inspiration, the challenges, and the moments that have made this journey unforgettable.

Prague 1
The Riese family did its very first escape room in 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Birth of a Dream

Our escape room adventure began in 2014 in the Czech Republic, where my wife and I and two eldest children first experienced the thrill of escape rooms. The idea of merging this excitement with my passion for history took root and grew steadily. Upon returning to the United States and settling in Charlottesville, Virginia, that seed blossomed into Unlocked History Escape Rooms—an endeavor that would allow me to weave historical narratives into interactive experiences.

Why Now is the Right Time

Over the past five years, Unlocked History Escape Rooms has grown significantly, becoming a beloved attraction for locals and visitors alike. The time has come to open a new door—a digital one—to connect with you beyond the confines of our escape rooms. As our business has grown, I’ve realized that there’s much more to share, and there’s no better moment than now to launch this blog. 

Enigma Machine
Our own working enigma machine featured in our Allied Spy escape room. Alan Turing would be proud.
The Art of Historical Immersion

My background in national security and my love for history have guided me in crafting escape room experiences that not only entertain but also educate. From a World War II enigma machine to the dark secrets of Edgar Allan Poe, each element is carefully designed to immerse you in a world that bridges the past and the present.

Reflecting on the Journey

The past five years have been nothing short of remarkable. Our team has grown to nine, and the smiles on the faces of our guests have been the greatest reward. From Charlottesville to visitors from around the world, I’ve been humbled by the positive feedback and the impact our escape rooms have made. One of my favorite parts of my job is reading all the outstanding reviews our guests have written. We’ve received over 1,000 online reviews and 98% of them have been 5 Stars! That is absolutely incredible.

UV Paint Experiment
My daughter as a canvas for UV paints for a new, upcoming puzzle.
Charting a New Path

So, why start a blog? Well, until now I’ve done a TERRIBLE job communicating with our fans outside the confines of our brick and mortar escape room experiences. But that is changing. This is the start of our new blog. And we’ll be restarting our Facebook and Instagram posts, which we have forsaken for the past 2+ years.

This blog will be a window into our creative process, the historical inspirations that fuel our narratives, and the insights that make Unlocked History Escape Rooms unique. I’m committing to publishing regular blog posts (about every week or so). I’m excited to share tips, stories, behind the scenes takes, and announcements that will enhance your experience with us.

An Invitation to Explore

As we conclude this first chapter of the Unlocked History Escape Rooms blog, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to you, our guests. Your curiosity, enthusiasm, and support have been the foundation of our journey. I invite you to join me in this digital adventure, where we’ll uncover hidden stories, share in the excitement of historical puzzles, and continue to build connections through the power of storytelling.

And in just a few weeks, I’ll be making some major announcements on the future of Unlocked History Escape Rooms (all good news I promise). So stay tuned.

Phil Riese
Unlocked History Escape Rooms
“Where History Never Gets Old


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