BLOOMINGTON — The Twin Cities' first trampoline park aimed at providing healthy exercise for "kids" of all ages is set to open next week.
"The rule is: if you can walk, you can jump. So if you're a little one, or if you're 50 or 60 years old, it doesn't matter. Jump to your heart's content," said Eric Corcoran, who, with his wife, Julie, will operate the indoor Altitude Trampoline Park franchise at 1702 G.E. Road in east Bloomington.
The facility, a former warehouse, will have a soft opening on Dec. 8 and a grand opening at a later date, said Corcoran.
"We're very excited to have the first trampoline park in Bloomington-Normal," said Fort Worth, Texas-based Altitude Trampoline Parks President/CEO Curt Skallerup. "It's going to be something Bloomington has never seen before. It's a great family entertaiment idea for the region."
As a 1982 graduate of Illinois State University, Skallerup is familiar with the Twin Cities.
The 23,000-square-foot indoor park features more than 50 trampolines offering a variety of entertaiment, including a main court with interconnected wall-to-wall trampolines, a kids court, extreme dodgeball, foam pits, a trapeze swing, basketball dunk lanes, gynastics tumble tracks, monkey bars and a battle beam.
"It's not just for kids," added Corcoran. "We will do exercise classes in the mornings. We'll have a licensed instructor."
There are spacious private rooms and other designated areas for birthday parties, professional development outings, church groups, athletic teams or groups of any size.
A nearly 3,000-square-foot mezzanine provides additional party space and a lounge offering free Wi-Fi, television viewing or a lofty perch from where parents can watch their children jump. Refreshments, pizza and other snacks are available to purchase at the snack bar.
"The birthday side (of the business) is huge. What kid wouldn't want to have a birthday party in a facility like this?" said Corcoran.
After signing waivers, users will be charged an hourly rate, unless they purchase party packages or enroll in exercise classes.
For the first hour the rate is $14.95 per person, $8 for a second hour and $7 for a third hour.
The park will be open seven days a week — 10 a.m-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday.
"We're already starting the process to expand this property here," said Corcoran. "It's in our lease. It will probably take a year (to expand)."
The Corcorans became familiar with trampoline parks, traveling to Florida, Chicago and other locations because their children, Ashley, 11, and Dalton, 17, like to jump.
"It was just a lot of fun to go do this kind of thing. Then we realized it was needed in our community," said Corcoran.
The Corcorans decided to buy an Altitude Trampoline Parks franchise because its parent company's safety and cleanliness standards match their own.
The local franchise has already hired 55 people, but is still seeking a general manager.
It is among 52 Altitude trampoline parks in the U.S. The company has 11 more in Europe and several other countries. It has 62 more trampoline parks under construction around the world that are slated to open in 2018 and 2019.
"Bloomington has great families and good Midwest culture," said Skallerup. "The great thing is this is a place that doesn't cost a lot. It's not like going to Disney or Six Flags. A family of five can have a great time for $75 versus going to Disney for $5,000 or Six Flags for $700 a day. So it's able to be there in a good economy or bad economy."
Sky Zone, a Los Angeles-based chain of trampoline parks, plans to open next year in a new 20,000-square-foot building on McKnight Drive west of the AMC Classic Normal 14 movie theater. Ram Talluri and Pat Rexroad, developers of a Springfield Sky Zone that opened last summer, are behind the Normal location, which is expected to employ between 75 and 90 people.