Local Start-up Grows National Customer Base

Makerspace integral to Station 5 Productions expansion

A unique locally-owned business has been able to increase its national client base thanks to one of the many entrepreneurial resources available through Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC).

Station 5 Productions started almost 12 years ago as a hobby for a haunted house enthusiast. Owner Buck Burdick was watching a TV show featuring the top haunted houses in the world and he wondered, how hard can it be to build a haunted house? Burdick created and designed the Fear Asylum Haunted Attraction in Brookings, which is now ranked in the top 50 haunts in the United States and the #1 haunt in South Dakota three years in a row.

The out-of-the box, imaginative energy that drives Burdick to push the envelope and bring new ideas to the forefront in today’s entertainment industry has propelled Station 5 Productions into a new realm of creativity. The company is currently one of the industry leaders in custom escape room design, themed props and movie-quality set design, family entertainment centers, even trade show displays and unique multi-dimensional signage for customers.

All of the ideas, design and building are done on site in Brookings. And when Burdick discovered BEDC’s Brookings Area Makerspace, he knew it was exactly what was needed to grow and expand Station 5 Productions in 2018 and beyond.

“The Makerspace has truly been life changing for Station 5,” Burdick said in a recent interview. “The CNC machine and the laser engraver have allowed us to showcase our dynamic work all over the United States, providing new, immersive experiences for customers in all areas of entertainment. Brookings is very blessed to have the Makerspace here at our fingertips.”

A few of the exceptional 2018 and 2019 projects that have shipped out of Brookings include:

  • A realistic, futuristic, multi-chamber space station escape room that shipped to California. More than seventy percent of the room was designed and cut on the CNC machine at the Makerspace.
  • Steam punk themed escape room in Texas. The CNC machine was used to cut the industrial style elements and gears for the room.
  • Giant, working gear props that were cut on the CNC machine and shipped to a multi-franchise family entertainment center in Indiana.
  • Magic orb boxes that are part of the teen entertainment centers on a major, international cruise line. Both the CNC machine and the laser engraver were used to make these puzzles and associated pieces.
  • Station 5 Productions is currently helping a customer as she franchises escape room puzzles and games that are utilized in the curriculum of elementary schools in southern California. Themes include Pirate, Spy, Mad Scientist, Robots, Space Station, and Egyptian. Station 5 is utilizing both the CNC and the laser engraver for this project.
  • A complete redesign of a large section of the Fear Asylum. The new theme includes an old French-style tunnel sewer system with grates, tunnels and arches. The CNC machine was instrumental in the creation of this newly designed room.

“The Makerspace was created to provide a low-cost solution for local entrepreneurs and innovators to start and grow their businesses,” said Jennifer Quail, BEDC Director of Entrepreneur Support. “We are excited that Station 5 has been able to take their business to the next level utilizing the affordable space and equipment provided to Makerspace members.”

“I’d like to thank you BEDC for giving Station 5 Productions the opportunity to grow and shine in 2018!  We can’t wait to see where we are headed in 2019,” said Burdick. “Your innovative programs and initiatives to help grow Brookings are instrumental for small business owners like myself.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Brookings Area Makerspace and other entrepreneurial resources, including free, confidential consultations about product or business ideas, can call Quail at 605-697-8103 or send an email to jennifer@brookingsedc.com.  

BEDC is part of the Brookings Start-up Hub, local organizations supporting ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship in the Brookings region. Visit startupbrookings.com for more information.  

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