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You Can’t Escape the Excitement at Escape Scene

Have you heard about this exciting new experience coming to the Kannapolis/Concord area? I recently met the owner of Escape Scene, Dan Collison, and worked with him to secure a space for this concept near downtown Kannapolis, in a shopping center owned by one of my clients. I thought it would be interesting to share more about why he decided to bring this idea to our area and what our community can expect from this unique new concept.

An Exciting New Trend

After experiencing the excitement of an escape room for herself in Seattle, Washington, Dan Collison’s sister Diane decided that this was just the type of interactive gaming experience that her brother would enjoy. While visiting Dan and his family in Greensboro, North Carolina, she took the group to escape rooms around the area, enjoying the adventure and puzzle-solving that has drawn people all over the world to this type of entertainment.

So…What Is an Escape Room?

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of an escape room, it can essentially be thought of as a space in which groups of players are voluntarily “locked” inside and given an imaginary scenario from which they must escape in order to win the game.

Escape rooms are decorated according to the storyline players have chosen to experience which continues to evolve over the course of the hour-long adventure. To heighten the sense of drama and excitement, visual and audio effects, such as a countdown timer and a story-specific soundtrack, are used giving players an immersive experience within the scene’s plot.

Recognizing a Market

While escape rooms have seen fairly widespread popularity in the U.S., primarily on the west coast, this form of entertainment is still relatively unknown by many people on the eastern side of the country. Quick to recognize a good idea when he sees one, Collison realized that starting an escape room business would be a great way to get in on a budding industry.

Dan’s company, Escape Scene ( or, which will host its grand opening the weekend of August 26-28, specializes in time travel-based storylines, giving participants the unique opportunity to experience scenarios set in different time periods where they must escape in order to avoid the “dire consequences” of failure.

Escape games provide a lot of fun for groups or date nights, but are also excellent opportunities for corporate teams to develop problem-solving and cooperation skills.

Where to Find Escape Scene

Escape Scene is located in the Franklin Heights Baptist Church shopping complex in Kannapolis, NC. The property, located at 443 N Cannon Blvd., is located conveniently to attract not only the local populations of Cabarrus County but also to draw in visitors from Charlotte/Mecklenburg and the Salisbury areas. There are additional vacancies at this shopping center location and this would be an exciting new business which will surely draw a lot of foot traffic. To learn more, please click here.

About Doug Donia, Commercial Real Estate Advisor

If you have an idea for a business and are looking for a great location, contact me for advice at

Clean Juice Sets Up and Takes Off

One of the benefits of working in commercial real estate, is getting to help small businesses achieve their dreams. Often, where they decide to set up shop is one of the most important decisions they make. In the case of Clean Juice, who I met back in 2014, they have seen huge success is a very short time and I’m happy to have advised them.

A Fresh Idea

Pennsylvania natives Landon and Kat Eckles relocated to North Carolina and quickly developed a fresh, new business idea. The couple’s company, Clean Juice, specializes in providing freshly made organic juice products and has been operating in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village since 2014. The Eckles’ are motivated, even going so far as finding their own location for their business, but when it came to reviewing and negotiating the lease for their new property, they needed some advice.

Know Your Lease

For many business owners, reviewing the terms of a lease isn’t always easy and in most cases, is quite different from a residential lease or mortgage agreement. It can be difficult to identify opportunities for negotiation and understand the intricate details that many commercial leases can include. For instance, did you realize that some commercial leases can require you to spend a percentage of your gross sales on marketing and advertising?

“Signing a lease is one of the most crucial decisions a business owner will make,” said Landon. “In my opinion, it is more cumbersome than signing a mortgage. One error could be detrimental to the business.”

Positively Ballroom Dances Downtown

When I first met Ryan and Mary Knight, they were subletting a dance studio near Frye’s Lanes. Their business, Positively Ballroom, is a company focused on making a positive difference in the lives of people through social dancing.

They came to the Old Creamery in Concord, a property we manage, interested in possibly leasing a space for their studio. After realizing that this property would not be a good fit for them, they hired me to help them as their tenant representative in order to assist them in finding and negotiating the perfect space for them to lease.

Location. Location. Location.

One of the things I try to do with any client is to get to know their business model and see what role their office or retail space plays in their success. Sometimes, just getting the most inexpensive place to set up shop is the goal, but more often than not, finding the right space can actually drive more revenue.

I had a good feeling that they needed to be in historic downtown Concord so they could become part of a vibrant business community with a small neighborhood feel. Diane Young and the Concord Downtown Development Corporation are doing a great job driving foot traffic with special events like the Union Street Live music series, Cocktail Crawl, Art Walk, and other special events that would give Positively Ballroom exposure in the community.


363 Church Street North
Concord, NC 28025





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