ST. CLOUD -- After four months of planning and preparation, two brothers from Cold Spring are ready to open the first escape rooms in the St. Cloud area.

St. Cloud Escape Rooms opens Friday and owners Nate and David Sauer say escape rooms are live games where a group of people are locked in a room for an hour and must solve a series of riddles and puzzles to get out.

"It originated about 15 years ago in Asia and within the last 8-10 years they've become really popular in the United States," says David Sauer. "So we thought what a great place to come back to our home area and start a business -- something new for St. Cloud."

The concept of escape rooms may sound a bit scary to some, but the Sauers ensure that it's a fun activity for friends, family, coworkers and anybody 10 years and older.

St. Cloud Escape Rooms is starting with two rooms -- one with a mafia theme that ties into Stearns County's history during prohibition, and the other a CSI-style forensic study.

"We actually had a lot of different themes that we wrote out, and we picked the ones we thought people would have the most fun with," says Nate Sauer. "Forensic Rush was probably the one we thought was the most unique because we haven't seen a lot of escape rooms that have done something like that."

The Sauers say they're planning on changing the room themes once they've run their course, hinting at seasonal themes during Halloween and Christmas. And if you fail the first time, you can always try again.

"Most groups will fail [the first time]," David Sauer says. "About three out of four groups will probably fail, so don't feel too bad if you do."

"We just want people to like it," Nate Sauer says.

"We've put a lot of hard work into it," David Sauer says. "We're just excited to have other people try it and we're going to get a lot of joy out of it."

St. Cloud Escape Rooms opens Friday in the former Siehl Hall building across the Street from Tech High School. Admission is about $26 per person.

- Fridays 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- Saturdays 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
- Sundays 1:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
- Mondays-Thursdays are available for group reservations (Call 320-281-9088 or email

Brothers Nate (L) and David (R) Sauer. (Photo: Isaac Schweer, WJON)