• Zombie-Escape Puzzles Keep Teams Together Through Apocalyptic Activities

     
    FROM THE Winter 2017 ISSUE
     

For a team-building exercise that’s off the beaten path, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie provides an hour’s worth of puzzles, problem-solving, communication and yes, a zombie, to your next corporate event. 

Groups of up to 12 people are trapped in a room with a chained-up zombie and a host. The host explains the rules: You have an hour to solve all of the clues and get the key to escape the room before the zombie eats you and your group members. Seems simple, except for the fact that every five minutes the zombie’s chain gets longer, and you have less room to move, which threatens your ability to solve the riddles.

Seem terrifying? “I’d say it’s more fun than scary,” says Barry Zelickson, owner of Big Thrill Factory. “I understand why people would be skeptical, but it’s always a fun experience. It’s not really intelligence-based, I mean I’ve seen kids escape and had groups of adults not make it out.”

If you intend to make it out alive, Zelickson stresses the importance of communication and working together. Often someone tries to take on the role of leader and refuses to listen to their members’ ideas. Strong leadership is crucial to survival, but so is listening.

Seventy percent of groups fail to make it out. The ideal group has one or two strong leaders that suggest concepts, decide on paths to follow or lead the group to certain outcomes. Thinking creatively is another underestimated skill for this puzzle. Adults can struggle to let their imagination flow and that hinders their problem-solving skills. At “Trapped,” you can let your creativity fly and say whatever wild answer pops into your head. You never know, you could be right.

The teamwork skills gained from solving the clues manifest themselves in the workplace, where listening, communication and creative thinking are all crucial in collaborative projects. 

The new edition of the activity, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie Still Hungry, is now available at Minnetonka-based entertainment destination Big Thrill Factory, and Trapped in a Room with a Zombie is coming to Oakdale in January 2017.  

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

In early April Detroit’s TCF Center became a 1,000-bed alternate care site to help ease the burden on local hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. The 723,000-square-foot facility became the TCF Regional Care Center. According to Pure Michigan’s Michelle Grinnell, who serves as public information officer for the state’s alternate care sites, 39 patients were treated at TCF, the last of whom was discharged on May 7.