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Do you know that feeling you get when you’re starving and have the best sandwich of your life? How about the first time you rode a bike without training wheels and without falling? Or the first time you saw the dragons fly in Game of Thrones? Well this story is about that feeling and how I was able to share that feeling with the rest of my friends in Macon.
Since October 2016, Situation Room has been breaking down the entertainment barriers in Middle Georgia with our escape rooms. Trust me the local business community thought we were crazy when we said we wanted to lock people in a room for 60 minutes and have them solve puzzles to get out. In fact our landlord once told me he was surprised we could pay our lease the first two months but was glad he was wrong about Situation Room (PS: he’s now an investor of Situation Room). When I played my first escape room prior to bring one to Macon I was excited. However, if I am to be honest it only felt like I had eaten half of the best sandwich or I had seen one of the three dragons take flight in GOT.
There is an entertainment void in Macon GA. This is why I assume so many people head to Atlanta on weekends rather than playing in their own backyard. When I went on vacation in the February of 2017 to California I was looking for something to fill my own entertainment void and that was when I saw a small company doing something that I had never seen before – they called it arrow tag. This game took safety arrows, had teams facing off with one another in a pure Hunger Games carnage all for the sake of entertainment. All ages played and somehow no one got hurt. After playing this game, I finally had the whole sandwich, rode the bike, and not only saw dragons flying but they were breathing fire.
When I returned home, I researched everything on how to get what I saw in California to Macon GA! Not because I was an entrepreneur looking for the next big thing but because I wanted to play again. I shared it with my friends (who happen to be co-founders of Situation Room) and they saw the same potential for fun as I did. At first we didn’t know where to play so we turned to the alley behind Situation Room and started shooting arrows at each other and even told our neighbors at Newtown Macon about it; to which Josh Rogers brought the whole crew out and they seemed to like the sample demonstration we did. The problem we realized is that the alley could be dangerous. Downtown needs more safe places to have fun outside. To help us find a safe place we got in touch with Sam Kitchens at Macon-Bibb Parks and Beautification who has been wanting to bring the sport of archery to the parks for some time. The problem was that the vendor they use did not supply archery so they couldn’t do it. We had to find another way.
Later in 2017 the Downtown Challenge Grant from the Community Foundation was announced. I quickly called Mr. Kitchens and expressed a desire to help bring more green space downtown. Presto a great partnership and friendship was born! We worked together with several other parties on a proposal that would turn the median on Poplar St. into a field of grass people can enjoy. Turns out this was also a goal of the Macon Action Plan (MAP). To our surprise with enough support from the community our grant submission was approved. We hit the ground running and thanks to all the hard work by Mr. Kitchens and his team by summer of 2018 not only our proposed area of Poplar St. but the rest of Poplar St. got a facelift too. We christened the park with our first event partnering with Mercer University Theater to bring Shakespeare in the Park.
So it’s 2019! It is finally here. Are you ready? Situation Room proudly presents Dodgeball Archery! This is a twist on the game we saw in Orange County California. It will occur outdoors with specially designed netting system strategically built into the park and played with equipment that is unrivaled. This is an entertainment experience 2.5 years in the making. We will combine school yard dodgeball with the skills of archery in a paintball setting. This is something we are proud of and hope everyone in Middle GA will be proud to call it theirs too!