November 4th 2021 was a really exciting night for Blyth Breakout Escape Rooms – we took out the Bronze medal in the New Tourism Business category of the TicSA 2021 Tourism Awards!

The application process was prompted off the back of the Tourism Industry Council of South Australia (TiCSA) Quality Tourism Accreditation we received back in June. We thought why not, even if we become a finalist that’s a pretty impressive task for our little family owned and operated business that has been running for less than 12 months. Competing in a year where application qualifying periods were extended due to COVID and no awards being held in 2020, it was a large field and there were some multi-million dollar big businesses in there.

When the finalist nomination came through it was a real validation and the thought of actually winning crept in, so we bought tickets to the awards dinner, sorted out our disco attire – given a choice between black-tie or disco, disco every time – and rocked up with a positive attitude and no real clue on how we would go. When it came time for our category and they announced the finalists – there were a lot more than we anticipated – the reality of who we were competing against was a bit of a shock and Nicole at least, honestly thought we didn’t stand a chance, how does a little regional Escape Room operator compete against massive corporations with big budget developments? Eos by SkyCity was the overall winner and Crowne Plaza Adelaide took the Silver Medal, then they announced the Bronze Medal and our whole table erupted as the big screen flashed up Blyth Breakout and Jessica Adams announced us, we could not believe it and are thrilled beyond explanation that we were awarded the Bronze Medal in what in our opinion was category full of amazing operators.

Congratulations to the whole Clare Valley Team at this years State Tourism Awards! One gold, three silver and a bronze!

Dingo Dreaming – Winner – Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Tourism

Bukirk Glamping Clare Valley – Silver Medal – Unique Accommodation

Watervale Hotel and Penobscot Farm – Silver Medal- Excellence in Food Tourism

Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre – Silver Medal- Visitor Information Services

O’Leary Walker Wines

Sevenhill Hotel

Paulett Wines & Bush DeVine Restaurant

I still remember the day that Max first laid eyes on the old Blyth hospital site, it was the October long weekend in 2013 and we were camping with friends and family in Clare. Whilst perusing the real estate section of the Saturday Advertiser he came across what only his mind would immediately see as an opportunity, an old hospital with 3 buildings, a bit of land and the tree change he had been searching for. It took minutes for him to convince his brother and a mate to take a drive to the town of Blyth and take a look. They headed off and a while later returned full of grands plans and the wheels were in motion.

Then reality and a lack of financial means set in and we put aside the dream thinking that was the end of it.

Little did I know that Max had continued to monitor the site and eventually in February 2015 he told me that the price of the property had dropped significantly and he thought we could afford to it now ….. what did I think? Should we go have a look? So we took the family (we have 3 kids) on the first of many 150km drives to have a look at what could well be our future family home and business.

You’ve probably guessed by now that we bought it, it wasn’t easy but with the support of the local community we took possession in April 2016 and our next big adventure began.

We’ve done a lot of things on the site, if you’re interested in that story you can head to our BDH page www.bdhblyth.com to see our accommodation options.

As for the actual Escape rooms and how they came to be, as a family we love doing escape rooms and have experienced most of the ones in Adelaide, some interstate and overseas. We were going to put accommodation in the hospital building but it was proving challenging so in August 2019 we came up with the idea of doing escape rooms instead. Whilst there are some excellent things to do for families in the Clare region, there are not a lot of entertainment options or activities that run after the cellar doors close, until now!

It took a lot longer than we anticipated to build and open, but on Friday 18th December 2020, Blyth Breakout opened with 3 rooms, Genie’s Lamp, Prohibition Bar and Prison Break.