The Sky’s the Limit for Growing Trampoline Parks
By Jen Heller Meservey Over the last 10 years, trampoline parks have been opening all over the United States, and the industry continues to grow rapidly, even expanding internationally. Jerry Raymond co-founded Sky High Sports in 2006 with his brother, Ron. “We were looking for careers that would allow us to spend more time with our growing families,” he explained. Sky High Sports is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and now operates 17 locations across the United States, with plans to add even more in the near future. “When Ron and I founded Sky High Sports, the trampoline park industry was in its infancy,” Raymond said. “Today there are about 350 trampoline parks in the United States with 100 more on the horizon. The industry is also booming internationally with recent launches across the globe, including the U.K., Australia and China.”
As a founding member and now vice chairman of the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), Raymond has his finger on the pulse of the trampoline park industry. “I continue to develop educational programs, research opportunities and identify best practices for the betterment of our growing industry,” he said. “Over the next three to four years, I expect continued industry growth. Reaching saturation in about five years will likely result in some brand consolidation.” Sue Wilson, co-founder of Rockin’ Jump, based in Pleasanton, Calif., has also seen her company grow rapidly over the last few years. “We have 12 open parks that range from 7,000 to 10,000 square feet of trampolines,” she said. “We started with our one corporate park in May of 2011, expanded to four, then started franchising our parks almost two years ago. We have sold 64 territories and continue to grow.”
Jeff Platt, president and CEO of Sky Zone Franchise Group, LLC in Los Angeles, Calif., said that his company has also been steadily expanding. “We have over 100 parks operating today and over 35 more planned to open,” he said. “We started in 2014 with 55 parks in operation, so our growth over the last one to two years has been tremendous. We are opening parks in the United States, Canada, Australia, Mexico, U.K., New Zealand and Saudi Arabia this year.” Not only is Sky Zone itself expanding, but its franchises are expanding as well, according to Platt. “Over 80 percent of our franchise networks are multi-unit operations,” he explained. Platt said he believes that the industry is growing partly because of its focus on physical activity. “The timing is right,” he said. “There is a large spotlight on obesity and the need to be more active. Everywhere you turn people are talking about health and wellness, especially among youth. A trampoline park is a great way for kids of all ages and abilities to be active inside a fun environment. Kids don’t like exercising, but they love jumping.” Raymond agreed. “We believe active parents raise active kids, so we encourage families to come in and play together,” he said. “Kids will choose Sky High over a video game every time. They’ll have so much fun jumping they won’t even realize they’re exercising.” Marc Taylor, managing member of Elevation Trampoline Park in Edmond, Okla., said he also believes that the physical aspect of trampoline parks has contributed to the industry’s growth. “As the United States continues to understand the value of physical fitness, I feel trampoline parks will continue to grow in popularity,” he said. “This is a great place to get exercise and not even realize you are working out.” Trampoline parks are also growing by adding different types of attractions, according to Katherine Webster, owner of Rebounderz in Sterling, Va. “Trends in the industry mainly revolve around offering guests varied attractions—moving toward a true FEC (family entertainment center),” she said.
Webster’s colleague, David Zorn, owner of Rebounderz in Jacksonville, Fla., agreed. “I think what you are going to begin to see is a shift from the traditional trampoline park, with the sole entertainment attraction being the trampoline, to the family entertainment center model, with multiple attractions and more options.” Kevin Sisson, owner of Launching Pad Trampoline Park in Raleigh, N.C., said that his park has already added more varied attractions. “Our slogan is actually, ‘Trampolines and so much more,’ ” he said. “Our park features approximately 15,000 square feet of trampoline area. In addition, we have a 32-game, state-of-the-art arcade. We also have a Laser Frenzy by Creative Works, and our most exciting attraction is the XD Theater, which is an eight-seat, 6D motion simulator ride by Trio Tech.” Sisson said he feels that the variety of attractions “enables people to spend more time in the park and allows families with non-jumpers to enjoy the facility.” In addition to adding more attractions, trampoline parks have also begun to offer party packages. “We offer a range of options to cater to different party parents’ and kids’ needs,” said Platt. “They have the ability to have a private court rental or play with the general public. With all party offerings they have the ability to use all of the attractions at Sky Zone. They also receive a private room for cake and pizza and a dedicated party host. In some parks, they actually make pizza in-house fresh. It’s the Ultimate Party experience!”