We the Enthusiasts Passports [Interview]

Earlier this winter, we were thrilled to learn that Audrey Pendleton-Chow, owner of Curious Escape Rooms in Fitchburg, MA and an escape room enthusiast herself, had launched escape room passports.

We loved the idea of collecting stamps at the end of each game in these beautiful passports. We recently caught up with Audrey to learn more about what these passports offer players and how owners can get involved!

Multiple passports opened to reveal the different pages, all surrounded by stamps, locks, keys, and puzzle pieces.

Tell us about your passport!

The We The Enthusiasts Global Escape Room Passport is a collectable to preserve your escape room escapades!

I’ve been archiving my escape room history in an Excel sheet. I know I’m not the only escape room enthusiast who does this. I thought it would be more fun to have something collectable! Why not stamps for every game from a participating event or escape room? That’s why we made a universal escape room passport.

The stamps for both of Curious Escape Rooms' games, the Doll House & The 90s Video Store.

I designed this small, durable booklet with a leatherette and gold foil cover, a profile page, and a unique ID. It provides 56 boxes for stamps and small spacing for notes and completion times. Stamp filler pages are available as well because, you know, 56 games could go by pretty quickly!

What makes for a great stamp?

It’s been amazing to see the different designs that escape room companies have created.

A great stamp is like an icon. It should be clear, one color, unique, and have thick lines.

Boxaroo's Conundrum Museum stamp.

The design should symbolize the theme of the game so when enthusiasts look back at it they remember their experience!

It’s nice to have the name of the game on the stamp too.

How do players buy a passport?

Players can buy our passports online at WeTheEnthusiasts.com. They are also available at many participating escape room businesses. Pricing and promotions may vary if you purchase from an individual participating business.

Audrey giving Rene his box of passports at Gate Escape.

Who are the participating companies?

We’ve got 187 games, 63 companies with stamps, and 25 locations selling passports. πŸ™‚ So far we’re in USA and Australia.

The full list of companies and their games is available here. It’s growing every week!

A rack of passports.

How can a new company get involved?

See Become a Participating Business for more information. There, interested companies can read the FAQ, purchase passports wholesale to sell at their own business, and register.

It’s free to be listed on our website as long as the business agrees to stamp passport-holders with your special stamp for your participating game or event.

You get to choose and purchase your own stamp. You can even design the image that will represent each of your games!

Stamps resting on an open passport.

If we wanted to make a stamp for our Escape, Immerse, Explore tours, could we do that? 

Absolutely! This would be perfect for an escape room tour! We welcome any experiences related to puzzles or mystery solving. We’ve reached out to puzzle/ scavenger hunts, mobile escape rooms, and immersive plays, such as the annual immersive theater and puzzling eventClub Drosselmeyer.

When and how did you come up with this passport idea?

In 2015 my partner (now husband) Jeremy Pendleton-Chow and I visited Portland, Oregon. We went to a McMenamins, which revitalizes unexpected spaces to become different themed bars.

As we entered the 1960s elementary school building, passing the cigar bar “Detention,” a small bar “Honor’s Hall,” and the movie theater that used to be the school auditorium, we found that part of it had been turned into a hotel. The check-in desk had one sheet of novelty McMenamins passports, encouraging customers to visit all their locations and collect different stamps. I thought it was a great idea!

I was in the process of opening Curious Escape Rooms in Fitchburg, MA. I began talking to other escape room owners about the idea of a global passport.

After a failed attempt of making less-than-quality samples of passports last year (which lasted merely a month in my bag), I put the idea on the back burner until I discovered a way to create the durable and beautiful passports I had imagined. They had to be fully brag-worthy and long-lasting to be worth it.

In November 2018 we began selling We The Enthusiasts passports and rallying escape rooms to join us in creating stamps for each of their games. Every week, new businesses join us and we add them to our website.

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