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Is the Valley getting too many trampoline parks? This owner says yes

JumpTime Idaho is a kid’s dream come true

JumpTime Idaho is a trampoline and activity park. It includes a ninja course, laser vault and plenty of trampolines for kids to jump around.
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JumpTime Idaho is a trampoline and activity park. It includes a ninja course, laser vault and plenty of trampolines for kids to jump around.

When two new indoor trampoline parks open in Boise later this year, the Treasure Valley will have six parks within 12 miles of one another.

Altitude Trampoline Parks is remodeling the former Sports Authority store at 1301 N. Milwaukee St. , behind the Barnes & Noble bookstore. A second franchise operator, Fly High Adventure Parks, is readying a park less than a mile away, at 7750 W. Fairview Ave.

When Boise residents Chad and Katie Babcock opened Idaho’s first trampoline park, JumpTime, in 2010 near the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Locust Grove Road in Meridian, it was the world’s 25th trampoline park, Chad Babcock said. It opened six years after the world’s first, operated by Sky Zone, in Las Vegas.

Today more than 400 parks operate around the world, according to Action Park Source, which tracks the industry. Twelve new parks opened around the U.S. in March alone.

“What I’m surprised about is the Boise area having six parks,” Babcock said. “It makes it tighter for all the parks. If I was starting out right now, I wouldn’t come to Boise. There are too many parks here.”

The other three in the Valley are:

JumpTime’s second park, opened in 2012. It still operates at 1030 W. River St. in Boise.

Urban Air. The Frisco, Texas, company opened a trampoline park last year at 3876 E. Lanark St. in Meridian.

CircusTrix. The Provo, Utah, company bought Sky Zone earlier this year and operates a trampoline park at 1460 N. Happy Valley Road in Nampa.

The Sky Zone purchase made CircusTrix, which was founded in 2011, the largest trampoline park operator, with 287 parks and nearly 16,000 employees, the Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported.

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Chad Babcock and his wife, Katie, opened Idaho’s first trampoline park in Meridian in 2010. It was the world’s 25th such park. Last year, he moved his Meridian park to a larger gym at 2805 E. Franklin Road. He also operates trampoline gyms in Boise and Twin Falls and is building one in Bozeman, Montana. Kelsey Grey kgrey@idahostatesman.com

Middle class ‘doing well,’ spending money

“Family entertainment is huge right now,” said Chad Babcock, who last year moved to a larger gym at 2805 E. Franklin Road, also in Meridian. “Our middle class is doing pretty well, and they tend to spend more money on entertainment.”

The four existing Treasure Valley parks typically charge from $12.50 per person for an hour on a weekday to $30 for two hours on a weekend, and less for children 6 and younger.

JumpTime evolved from the popular Magic Tumble Buses featuring trampolines, balance beams, slides, ropes, rings, zip lines and other equipment. The Babcocks established the Tumble Buses in 1998, driving to homes, parks and other locations where people were hosting parties for kids.

In 2012, JumpTime opened a trampoline park in Boise, at 1030 W. River St. The following year, the Babcocks opened a third park in Twin Falls. A fourth location, in Bozeman, Montana, is scheduled to open later this year.

Babcock isn’t surprised by the industry’s rapid growth. He said kids and adults enjoy the environment, which he describes as “controlled chaos.” The parks cater to families so parents and kids can have fun together, he said.

Eliana Pittard, 8, of Meridian, said she has a trampoline to play with in her back yard, but she likes coming to JumpTime because of its multiple trampolines. “Here, it’s more bouncy,” she said.

Her brother, Bradley, 4, said he likes a room where players try either to avoid laser beams shooting across the room or to place their hands through the beams on purpose.

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Bradley Pittard, 4, runs on a balance beam positioned between two pits with soft foam blocks at JumpTime in Meridian. Kelsey Grey kgrey@idahostatesman.com

Chelsi Smith of Meridian, who accompanied her children, daughter Kinley, 4, and son Bennett, 3, said JumpTime provides a fun and safe environment where younger kids are separated from older ones. She said she brings her kids there about two times a week.

Of the two coming parks:

Altitude Trampoline Park franchise owner Erik Hamilton said his business will include dodgeball, rock-climbing walls, trapezes and basketball hoops. A toddler area will have a slide and smaller trampolines.

A promotional video from Ultimate Trampoline Park shows the kinds of recreational activities available. The Boise park is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Altitude Trampoline Park has 60 locations plus 38 under construction. The company is seeking Boise employees at www.altitudejobs.com.

Fly High Adventure Parks is a 4-year-old family-owned company based in Fort Collins, Colorado, that operates trampoline parks there and in Ogden, Utah, and Reno, Nevada.

Jordan Dunkley, who is heading the Boise gym, said he expects Fly High to have 20 to 25 employees when it opens toward the end of September.

“People enjoy coming in and jumping on the trampolines,” Dunkley said. “It encourages athleticism and coordination. It makes them active, and they’re not playing video games all day.”

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell.

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