Positively West Virginia
Positively West Virginia
Episode 28: A Playground for Your Brain: EscapeWorks in Weirton, WV

EscapeWorks has brought the excitement of live-action “escape” games to the Ohio Valley.  Located in Weirton, West Virginia, they’re just 20 minutes west of Robinson Township and convenient to Steubenville and the Northern Panhandle. 

​Perfect for team-building, group date night, or family fun!

Mike Whalen - Cofounder of EscapeWorks

Mike Whalen – Cofounder of EscapeWorks

Escape Works


Show Notes:

  • 00:31-2:58: Jim introduces today’s guest, Mike Whalen, Co-founder of the business EscapeWorks. Jim asks Whalen to give the audience some insight into his personal life.
  • 2:59-3:36: Whalen talks about being born in South Florida and discusses his many ventures he helped start prior to starting Escape Works.
  • 3:37-3:43: How did you get started in the escape room business?
  • 3:44-4:33: Whalen talks about how fun escape rooms are and how much they appealed to him after playing for himself a couple times. Whalen says he saw the benefit in them and the entertainment in them while also spotting a need for them in his area and the rest is history.
  • 4:34-5:03: What’s your 30 second elevator pitch for your company?
  • 5:04-6:08: “We’re all about trying to provide fun and immersive entertainment for groups and families.”
  • 6:09-6:51: What’s the thing you’re most excited about for your company right now?
  • 6:52-8:29: “I feel like we’re really turning the corner… we’ve built a local following. I’m pretty excited about where we stand right now.”
  • 8:30-9:13: Take us through that worst business moment you’ve had so far…
  • 9:14-10:32: Whalen discusses a lot of logistics that went in to passing inspections and how that pushed back the start of the business.
  • 10:33-10:52: Tell us that one takeaway from that experience…
  • 10:53-11:37: “We knew this time to anticipate.” Whalen talked about the importance of being prepared when getting ready for situations like those from here on out.
  • 11:38-12:05: What would you say is the best thing about being in business in West Virginia?
  • 12:06-12:50: “I think the [Ohio] Valley has the potential to really go through a revitalization process right now.”
  • 12:51-13:11: What would you say has been your best business moment so far?
  • 13:12-14:36: “I think we’re in the middle of that moment right now.”
  • 14:37-16:56: What’s the vision for your company long-term?
  • 16:57-17:47: “We’d like to branch out and explore different avenues of innovative fun.”
  • 17:48-18:36: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to young business owners and entrepreneurs in West Virginia?
  • 18:37-19:23:I would say, before you get started, conduct a very honest self-assessment. Be honest about what you’re missing so that you can fill in those parts.” Whalen says whether you do that through your own education or through partnerships, this is crucial.
  • 19:24-20:41: What’s one thing you do everyday that you think contributes to your success in business?
  • 20:42-21:44: “One thing I do everyday, I make sure I wear a company shirt every time I leave the house, if it’s appropriate.”
  • 21:45-21:56: What’s one resource you use in your business that you cannot live without?
  • 21:57-22:51: Whalen says Excel and a booking software called Bookify.
  • 22:52-24:48: What’s a book you’d recommend to aspiring business people and entrepreneurs?
  • 24:49-25:17: “In Search of Excellence” By: Tom Peters
  • 25:18-25:49: If you could meet anyone in West Virginia that could possibly help grow your business, who would it be?
  • 25:50-26:39: “I would very much like to meet Vess Whitehouse, who is the GM at the Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.” Whalen talks about the possibility of collaborating with them.
  • 26:40-27:00:  How can our listeners learn more about your company and how can they get in touch with you?
  • 27:01-28:14: We have a website and our Facebook page 
  • 28:15- Close: Jim thanks Mike Whalen for joining him today on another wonderful episode of Positively West Virginia and once again recognizes the wonderful sponsors of the show that allow stories like these to be told.