Launch - Leap of Faith - February 2019

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Rebounderz’s “Basketball Slam” allows participants to soar through the air like their favorite basketball stars and compete side by side with friends. (Credit: Rebounderz)

Trampoline Parks Jump on FEC Diversification

by Keith Miller

As the number of trampoline parks continues to rise, one of the first companies to enter the business believes that diversifying into family entertainment centers (FECs) is the key to thriving in the years ahead.

Rebounderz started its business in 2008 and currently has 11 locations in the United States, with a new location recently opened in Sacramento, California, and more on the way. Headquartered in Sanford, Florida, the company has the licensing rights (through an affiliated company) to three patents, covering 59 claims, that Rebounderz says includes 80 to 90 percent of the equipment designs of all trampoline parks in the United States. 

Rebounderz CEO Tim Murphy joined the company in 2016 to lead strategic growth of the brand. He brings 30 years of experience from leadership roles at entertainment, restaurant, resort, and theme park companies, along with franchises. 

He says he sees market saturation in trampoline parks coming in the next five to seven years and believes diversification of offerings is crucial.

“Rebounderz FECs—trampolines with multiple other attractions—far outweigh just Rebounderz trampoline parks in terms of repeat guests, increased sales, significantly higher check average, higher number of guests, and longer stays by our guests,” Murphy says. “People will stay longer if they have more things to do. When you only have a trampoline park, people get tired quickly and are going to leave. We don’t want that. We want people and families to linger, eat, play other games, use other attractions, and make a day of it.”

Murphy sees a couple of market elements as key to diversification. One is a current trend of big-box retail locations that are closing under changing economic conditions. The empty space allows for Rebounderz FECs to open in footprints ranging from 40,000 to 100,000 square feet. “Right now, we’re working with a Florida mall owner who owns five other malls around the United States and wants us to manage and build our large FECs in place of former big-box tenants,” says Murphy. “This deal could yield up to six new Rebounderz locations and will allow us to gain access into other markets that we did not believe was possible a short 12 months ago.”

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Rebounderz guests can take a break from jumping in the trampoline arena to play arcade games, which vary by location. (Credit: Rebounderz)

Another element in the Rebounderz expansion strategy involves forming a strategic partnership with an electronic gamification company with a large arsenal of intellectual property that would allow for more diversified entertainment in huge indoor spaces. Murphy adds Rebounderz has received inquiries for potential new franchises in Switzerland and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Texas, Kentucky, and North Carolina. 

As for what attractions these large indoor entertainment parks will contain beyond trampolines, Murphy says, “[These] centers will include ninja warrior courses, jump towers, video arcades with redemption centers, virtual reality simulators, laser tag, as well as café and restaurant dining, parents lounge and bar, meeting space, and upgraded dining. Most locations will have 10 to 15 attractions with some of the largest locations housing electric go-kart tracks, too.” Other attractions could include ziplines, ropes courses, climbing structures, and laser mazes. 

In the future, the company hopes to design “tilt-up buildings” featuring 25- to-30-foot-tall ceilings with the ability to build second-story mezzanines for meeting space, event rooms, and lounges, as well as a sky bar over the middle of the attractions.

Rebounderz is searching for a large space in the Orlando area for a “flagship” facility.

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Most of the ninja warrior courses at Rebounderz have three difficulty levels and obstacles including metal hoops, quad steps, hanging doors, and warped walls. (Credit: Rebounderz)

“The term flagship to us is synonymous with the leading facility. That means the flagship should lead with innovation, and all the attractions we install [there], we want to install in our FECs, or provide space to experiment with new ideas, rides, and attractions. I can’t think of a better location to do that than a flagship facility.” 

He adds that to be on the cutting edge of new technologies and attractions, Rebounderz needs to experiment and show off.

“As an industry matures, leaders and chains need to differentiate themselves to stand out,” says Murphy. 

According to the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), there are now some 1,200 parks worldwide, with about 800 in the United States. 

“In the trampoline industry, those that will succeed must have choices for their guests that are not just another version of a trampoline. People and families want to experience more, do more, and do new things. Honestly, how many times can you just jump up and down on a trampoline? Those that immerse themselves into a theme park-like experience will set themselves apart and open new horizons,” Murphy concludes.

www.rebounderz.com