Skyzone – A Company On The Move

skyzone logoWith the increasing popularity of trampoline parks, one company has stood out among the rest for its dedication to quality, safety, and fun in a way that no similar establishment has been able to. The rapid and successful expansion of Skyzone is a testament not only to the efficacy of the concept and business model, but also to the demand there is in a number of different markets for this type of amusement. Skyzone should act as a blueprint for similar operations on how building a high quality park can be done.

Skyzone was not intended to be a trampoline park at first. Rather, creator Rick Platt was more interested in accomplishing the dream of a number of people going all the way back to the inventors of the modern trampoline: create a professional team sport that would gain popularity and acclaim for both excitement and a fast pace. Platt built a 17,000 square foot trampoline arena in Las Vegas that he hoped would attract visitors to the new game, one involving moving hoops and plenty of mid-air acrobatics. The game didn’t take off, but when a group of local skateboarders showed up looking to bounce on the unused trampolines, Platt saw an opportunity. Soon he was charging $8 per person to enter and play on the trampolines and the first Skyzone was born.

Two years later in 2006, Platt’s son Jeff opened a similar park in St. Louis where he was going to school. Within six weeks the park had started to turn a profit and Jeff currently is CEO of a company that serves over 1000 people per day and brought in $16 million in 2011 alone.

Skyzone has continued to grow even from those rather rapid beginnings. They currently have parks set up in 17 US states and one Canadian province, with plans to expand this years to even more locations. In 2013 they implemented a franchise agreement that immediately began working with Strike Bowling Bar to build ten locations in Australia and New Zealand, not to mention locations set to be opening soon in Mexico. It’s pretty clear that this company is skyrocketing with almost limitless potential for growth internationally.

Part of what makes Skyzone such a popular operation that has drawn so many people is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature that makes people like Platt initially hang their hopes on trampoline-based competitive sporting. People want to fly. They are far less interested in watching other people doing acrobatic stunts in mid-air when they believe that they can do so themselves. And in many cases, trampolines increase the ability of people to engage in gymnastic feats that they would be otherwise unable to do. Unlike other rapid sports like basketball or jai alai, a sense remains that while it would be exciting to participate, there is little chance of replicating the moves of the professionals. In trampoline-based sports, while they can be very difficult, the psychological cue is that it is done with great ease, prompting the viewer to want to be partaking rather than watching.

And partaking is a lot of fun. The brief feelings of weightlessness combined with the additional height and manipulable upward force makes bouncing on these trampolines a blast. It’s especially fun since the safety measures in place allow participants the ability to let go and try things that they otherwise might not be able to because they can be confident that they won’t hurt themselves. Part of the appeal is the increased freedom, which is a fairly universal impulse that can be catered to at Skyzone parks.

Variety is also key to this company’s rise in fame. This is not just a single, flat layer of trampolines. Skyzone has patented a park design that includes a number of trampolines at various angles that can be bounced on, as well as foam pits to jump into, hoops and balls to play games with, and a number of activities that can be done while in the arena to appeal to several different tastes.

Moreover, people are finding that they love this fun new way to get exercise. This is a full body workout that engages a number of different systems and improves several skills at once. Skyroboics classes are incredibly popular and a very effective way to lose weight and gain muscle.

Skyzone is a company on the move. In fact, they’ve moving almost everywhere. With 65 locations currently and dozens more on the way, there is no upper limit to how high they can climb.

Rick Mason