Escape to Roseville!
10 Nov 2021
News, Choose, Choose Roseville, Success Stories
Determining the path out of an Escape Room is supposed to be difficult. Conversely, working with a municipality to start a business should not be. For Trish Waldoch, owner of HiddenMN in Roseville, that has been exactly her experience in both cases.
“When we decided to open our first Escape Room in 2017, choosing Roseville was an easy decision,” she said. “There is excellent consumer traffic there, with locations within our budget and the city has a reputation for being easy to work with to start a business.”
HiddenMN is a 12,000 square-foot entertainment center in Roseville with multiple activity spaces, including four Escape Rooms, four Axe-Throwing Lanes and an event space suitable for arts, crafts and other classes. Escape Rooms have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. Participants are locked in a room which has a series of clues and puzzles to solve in order to gain their way out. The rooms at HiddenMN are unique stories designed and built by Waldoch and her staff. The COVID-19 pandemic made Waldoch dig deeper into her creative side. As a result, HiddenMN now also offers puzzle boxes for rent and ‘mobile rooms’ for businesses, essentially the ability to set up Escape Rooms and other activities on the site of businesses, homes or other interested parties.
HiddenMN is truly a manifestation of years of hard work and passion by Waldoch, who in addition to being a small business owner, has been a contractor, designer and accountant in the area. But of all her roles, perhaps the most important one to her is a mother. She has always made family a priority in her life and seeks to provide a family-fun experience for her HiddenMN customers.
“We want to give the community fun-filled activities for adults and families, but children typically need to be older than young toddlers or preschoolers,” she said.
Roseville good for business
Waldoch moved her business to the current building on Oakcrest Avenue in 2020 from a previous Roseville address. In each location, Trish said city officials were very helpful as she managed through startup growing pains. When their first location required updates, the city was extremely flexible and easy to work with. After failing her first fire inspection there because a wall was added without a sprinkler in the new room, the plan to resolve it was explained clearly to her.
“The inspectors were so wonderful in detailing how to fix the issue so when we did, we easily passed the next inspection,” she said.
Moving to their current facility was extremely comfortable for Waldoch, armed with the knowledge of the permitting processes provided by both the City of Roseville and Ramsey County. Requiring a food license for the current facility through Ramsey County, officials there were very specific in informing her exactly what procedures they needed to follow.
“Business codes anywhere can be overwhelming for small business owners, but it is very comforting to know there are people at the city rooting for you and trying to make it as easy as possible,” said Trish.
Grow Roseville, the economic development arm of the city, has also been instrumental in getting HiddenMN off the ground.
“The individuals there know what small businesses need and have been very active in promoting our events and marketing our videos,” said Waldoch.
Open to other activities
Adding new activities to the current venue is always on her radar, said Waldoch. While she loves her current location with a cool storefront and the walk-in traffic it receives, one of her plans may require adding another property.
“I really want to add a Rage Room, but that would require a different location,” she said. “You essentially need a soundproof room because the noise from breaking furniture and other items is extremely high. Plus, running a Rage Room is very labor-intensive because cleaning up and sweeping up broken glass is very difficult!”
The Roseville Economic Development Authority (REDA) coordinates and administers economic development and redevelopment initiatives for the City of Roseville, MN. It serves as a comprehensive resource for businesses seeking to startup and grow in the area. In addition to prioritizing business retention and expansion, the REDA connects area employers with the dedicated and talented workforce they need to succeed and thrive.