Our Covid 2021 Journey + a Request
As you know, the Covid pandemic has hit entertainment venues like ours pretty hard the past two years.
However, it hasn't stopped us.
As a bootstrapping Mom-n-Pop shop determined to survive the pandemic. We found a way to bring play to folks all over the world using Zoom - penning and producing 4 very unique mystery events over the past year and a bit. That along with some other consulting gigs, and support from the SBA and local grantors, gave us the cash flow needed to pay the rent on a play space we couldn't yet use in the way we want - for immersive, in person events.
We kept moving forward, and you all joined in to propel us. Thank you!
LOTS TO LEARN
Neither Mark nor I have experience with retailing, so we took this time to get mentoring and training in running our business - with RAIN Oregon and the SBDC at Linn-Benton Community College. And in the process of doing that we discovered a cool program out of Portland State University - their Business School's Senior Capstone project. More about that program a bit later as it has to do with our REQUEST FOR YOUR HELP....
In June we expanded to a new space in our building thinking that we would be able to open up immediately to folks. That's about the time the Delta Variant hit, and we were feeling a lot of deja vu (we opened just months before the Covid shutdown 2 years ago!) And like 2 years ago when Oregon shutdown, we didn't give up the dream of Conundrum House! Although our expenses had nearly tripled, we knew in our gut that this was the right move - so we went to work to make a game space that oozed immersive play that was also welcoming to people of all ages.
Mark and I took time to work on upgrading the space. We:
- Curated the room expanding on the olde-tyme salon feel to every corner of our new 1200 sf game room and store;
- Installed a lighting system so you can really see the games, puzzles and toys;
- Found more indie and Kickstarter game creators and publishers, and brought in more product - arranging it on the shelves so you get the full experience of the artistry of the game boxes and are drawn to pick up the stuff and discover what's in those boxes;
- Tagging the games with reviews from Board Game Geek so you are better able to choose the kinds of games you want to play; and we've
- Begun to develop a couple of the rooms into escape-style experiences, which are available as regular game play spaces, while we continue to work on the game story, and puzzle elements for each room.
It's been a lot of challenging and satisfying work for the two of us, and we are GRATEFUL for the continued support of our members, our partners in the business community, and of course, our family.
BE A PART OF CONUNDRUM HOUSE's FUTURE!
This brings us back to the PSU Senior Business Capstone...
This is a program where students pursuing their degrees in business come together as a team to work with real-world clients, like us, intent on succeeding in their chosen industry but may not have the resources to hire the strategic and tactical help needed to guide us. The students get hands on training in their fields. We, the Clients, get to work with a highly motivated group of very smart people who have their thumbs on the pulse of our contemporary world.
And it is for that group, our team of 10 INCREDIBLE business students, that we are asking you for your assistance. If you are a customer of Conundrum House, they have a Customer Satisfaction survey they'd love for you to fill out. Be honest - both in the negatives and the positives - as that will help them understand what works and what is needed in our offerings to better serve you and all our wonderful members.
Please click on the image to the right to be taken to their Google form letting them know what your experience is like with us, and what more you'd love to see offered.
YOU DIDN'T KNOW...
We are open! Our hours are Wed - Sun, NOON to 6 p.m. We're still at 460 SW Madison Avenue, now in Suite 12 (2nd Floor, above the amazing Castor Restaurant).
While you are here, check out the Rental Library and become a Club member. Or find the perfect board game, puzzle or mechanical toy as a gift for the holidays, or for yourself.
If you want to drop in to play games with your friends for a couple of hours, or even the entire day, it's just a $5 cover charge per player. You can come and go the entire time we are open, as you please.
After our regular open hours Conundrum House is available for a variety of group events:
- Book our murder mystery dinner party LARP, The End of Thyme for 10-12 Character Players. If you want your event to be catered, we work with Castor's located right below us on the first floor;
- Book the game and experiences rooms for an evening of play-as-you-will, choosing any of our games in our rental gallery, or work with us to create a evening of play Game Mastered by us based on the kind of evening you want to provide your guests;