(Author's note: Describing a trampoline park in print and even photographs is a difficult task. There is a accompanying video to this article that provides a tour of the park. I encourage you to watch the video to gain a better understanding of the experience.)
Jumping on a trampoline is a special event in childhood. It's one you don't forget. If your childhood was fortunate enough to include a trampoline or you were able to use one in the neighborhood, you know the feeling. It was a BIG deal to jump.
Jeff Cole has brought the dream of trampoline jumping to Suwanee and his version is pretty big, too. It's 32,000 square feet, so big that it's called a trampoline park. It's named Sky Zone, and even though it just opened on December 17 on Old Peachtree Road, it's reaching capacity during some jump times and gaining popularity with local and regional customers. It's the largest Sky Zone facility in the country.
Cole spent 20 years in the corporate world before taking ownership of a Sky Zone franchise. “I always wanted my own business” says Cole. The idea for franchising a trampoline park came from a visit to a Sky High facility (a competitor brand) in California. Cole researched the industry for several months and considered a few a different companies before deciding on Sky Zone. He liked the operations and processes the company had already established.
Cole's next task was to find a location. California was oversaturated with trampoline parks, but the Southern states were ripe with opportunity. Cole locked-in on metro Atlanta, and then the Suwanee area based on the demographics, number of children, and strong community programs.
Amanda Leesburg, public relations agent, says, ”It's really become a destination.” She has people call her from out of state to inquire about the facility because there is not one in their area and they want to visit it.
Cole quit his job in April 2011 and then moved his family to the metro Atlanta area in August. His wife left her teaching job to join him in running the now family business. Cole also hired an operations manager from the Sky Zone in Orlando, Josh Lavack. “He's been a blessing with his experience,” Cole says. “He was familiar with the operations and is helping us get established.”
Cole designed the layout of the facility and the courts himself. It contains a large general purpose jumping area, two dodge-ball arenas, two basketball goals, trampolines, an area with a large foam pit, and a smaller designated area for smaller children and toddlers.
But the facility isn't just for kids. Skyrobics is an instructor led program for kids and adults. “It's almost like circuit training. Constant movement and low impact. You'll burn 1,000 calories in an hour” says Cole. Adults are welcome and encouraged to jump with kids.
For parents that want to kick-back and relax there are several viewing areas in the facility, as well as a parent lounge with free Wi-fi. The parent lounge has a video monitor for each of the jumping areas.
Jumpers are required to wear special shoes that are rented as part of the jumping admission price. The shoes are high tops (up to ankles) with a flat surface on the bottom of the shoe. Keeping the grooves off the bottom of the shoes helps to preserve the surface of the trampolines. Jumpers are not allowed with only socks because they are too slippery and a safety hazard.
Jumpers are also required to sign a waiver form which stays in system for a year. Cole recommends that parents fill out waiver before coming to the facility by completing the online form. This makes the entrance time quicker.
Sky Mania, for 11-15 year olds, is on Friday night. Sky Jam, for 16 and older, is on Saturday night. Both programs provide two hours of jumping, two slices of pizza, and a fountain drink for $16.
For more information, call 678-745-9900