Nic Hanzelik (previously global sales manager for Funovation) has joined Keith Padgett and his Art-FX Studios team as their VP of Business Development. And Hanzelik said new business is developing nicely despite the pandemic and they’ve recently brought two new designer/sculptors on board as well.
The company, known for custom theming of laser tag arenas, lobbies and entryways, 3D props and more, also creates turnkey escape rooms. It’s that part of the business Hanzelik says is a bright spot today.
Art-FX has three such attractions in their Escape Theory portfolio –– Secrets of the Pharaohs, Wizard’s Tower and Murder in London –– and a fourth will be finished by the end of this year or early in 2021. (Hint: it’s going to be pirate-themed). Hanzelik said the hand-crafted puzzles create immersive fun with theme park-quality theming, adding that the attention to detail is impressive (the floor in the Pharaohs room looks like sand, for example) and automated triggers within the rooms are story-based and thematic (Wizard’s Tower has 57 custom automated triggers).
About the escape room business during the pandemic, Hanzelik said that to a certain extent, escape rooms have been “fairly Covid-proof” because of they already operate with advanced, private bookings that don’t have others coming in and out of the space. Backing that up, he said at one Colorado location, the escape room business is out-earning the rest of the FEC by about 130%. Overall, he said, “Operators are seeing more traffic every week, and even though it is a slow climb, it is going up,” he said.
In addition to sales activity, Hanzelik made the rebranding and updating of their website his first task upon joining up. Visitors to www.art-fxstudios.com will now see current pictures of the company’s escape rooms and other services. To contact Hanzelik, email him at [email protected]; phone 850-895-1050.