By Karen Appold
Opening her trampoline park at 10 a.m. on weekday mornings so parents with young children have a place to go is just one way that Kerry Hughes, co-owner, Altitude Trampoline Park, with locations in Billerica, Mass., and Rochester, N.Y., differentiates her park from others and gets guests to stay longer and spend more. During this time, tots can safely roam free in the park, because older kids are in school. Since the centers have an open concept and are well lit, parents can see their children wherever they may be at the center.
Hughes says the park has a reputation of having “all attractions and no distractions.” “All of our square footage is dedicated to entertainment and fitness,” she said. “It’s all about kids getting exercise and interacting.” The center doesn’t have any arcade games or concession stands. Parents like this because they are conscious about how much time kids play video games and don’t want to spend more money for kids to play them on top of the center’s admission fee. Since the park doesn’t offer food, kids aren’t eating fast food and other junk foods. Ultimately, guests end up staying longer as a result of these factors.
Having a variety of attractions drums up more business as well. Altitude Trampoline Park has a main court containing trampolines and tumble tracks (i.e., longer trampolines for gymnasts to run and do consistent flips), basketball lanes, a flip pit, dodgeball, balance beam and rock climbing wall.
In addition, having special discounted events brings in more visitors. Altitude Trampoline Park has Friday Night Frenzy every Friday night for three hours for $20 for kids, younger teens and tweens. Saturday is teen night, which is $25 for three hours. Sensory-Friendly Saturdays are only open to children with disabilities and special needs so they can have the park to themselves and aren’t overly stimulated. The park also hosts family and corporate events.
Lori Price, co-owner, Flip Dunk Sports, Phoenix, Ariz., advised making safety a priority in order to get guests staying longer. “Parents want to know that their kids are being supervised, equipment is in top-notch condition, that the facility is safety certified and that staff is well trained,” she said.
Also, give back. “We like to give back to schools by donating auction items and advertising in school directories,” Price said.
Other advice to get guests to stay longer includes offering affordable pricing, including daily deals on your website, and offering jump passes and loyalty shirts that greatly reduce patrons’ cost.
Like Hughes, Price said offering a variety of activities attracts more guests. In addition to trampolines, Flip Dunk Sports has classes for gymnastics, dance, cheer, and ninja; birthday party packages; and special events including summer/spring break camps and parents’ night out. The latter is held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. A counselor supervises the center and runs games and fun activities, so parents can enjoy a night out. Kids get a slice of pizza and water bottle.
Likewise, Tyson Erdmann, general manager, AirStrike Extreme Air Sports, Augusta, Ga., said the center has lots to do, so guests often buy one and a half or two hours of play so they have time to enjoy everything.
Morgan Tangjerd, marketing manager, APEX Adventure Plex, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, said by having 45,000 square feet of attractions, guests stay longer. Activities include bubble soccer, Olympics quality trampolines, ninja warrior obstacle courses, and trampoline dodgeball and trampoline basketball.
David Kim, vice president, Jumping World, Houston, Texas, said his best advice to increase traffic is to offer great customer service. “From the moment guests walk through our doors, we expect staff to be attentive and welcoming,” he said. “Staff work with guests to limit and eliminate any stress or pain points that they may have while at our facility. Every detail matters from the facility’s cleanliness to the type of music playing.”
Plans to Expand
Erdmann said the center plans to install five new attractions, including a stunt fall into an airbag, zip line, tumbling air track, parkour area and a super tramp. “These attractions will push guests to their limit, but after conquering them they will want to try them again and again,” he said. The attractions will all be completed at the same time, which will make for huge and exciting changes at AirStrike.
Kim said he is constantly looking to improve his facilities. Its Kennesaw, Ga., location is currently undergoing a renovation. “We are bringing in new redemption arcade games and may add a ninja warrior course,” he said. “We’ve had success in other locations with similar demographics with the ninja warrior course.”
Flip Dunk Sports recently added additional open gym times to its schedule. During this time, kids can jump in the trampoline center and also practice parkour and tumbling in the gymnastics center.
Tangjerd said they recently added a three-lane ninja warrior obstacle course and are currently constructing a rock climbing wall and parkour/boulding area. “This has enabled us to appeal to an entirely new demographic and adds another great reason to have your wind-up, team-building event or birthday party at our park,” Tangjerd said.
Possible Future Additions
Since her parks are fairly new and are well maintained, Hughes doesn’t currently have plans to add any attractions. However, in the future she would consider adding a trapeze and possible performance trampolines if the center had enough space and met height requirements. The performance trampolines have greater elasticity and require a higher clearance.
If Flip Dunk Sports could add something new, Price said it would be more gymnastics equipment and space. “Our trampoline park model wouldn’t work without our gymnastics center,” she said. “Arizona is the most heavily populated state with trampoline parks. We needed to incorporate gymnastics to survive in the industry.”