The franchisees behind Springfield’s Sky Zone are working to make the local attraction into more than just a trampoline park.
Bryan Hendershot, co-owner of the franchise group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said plans are in the works to upgrade the park this summer to include a zip line, rock wall, trapeze swing, jousting and an obstacle course modeled after “American Ninja Warrior,” including its popular warped wall.
“We’re trying to jam in as many features as we can,” Hendershot said, noting the upgrade costs are expected in the $250,000-$400,000 range.
To accommodate the plans, the 19,000-square-foot building, 2765 S. Kansas Expressway, initially was listed for sublease months ago, as the franchise owners were considering a new site. The building is owned by Kansas Plaza 1 LLC, according to Greene County assessor records.
However, since there were no takers on the lease, Hendershot said the trampoline park will stay in its current location, which was built in 2014 for $1.6 million.
Most Sky Zone parks across the United States with the new features planned locally are at least 30,000 square feet, which is why the franchisees originally were looking for a larger space.
Currently, the trampoline park features near wall-to-wall trampolines, two dodgeball courts, basketball hoops and a landing area with 10,000 foam cubes.
Sky Zone Springfield General Manager Ashley Frazier-Osburn said the upgrades will replace one of the dodgeball courts, which she said is rarely used.
Hendershot said the park would remain open during construction, which is expected to take three weeks.
The timing is not coincidental with the opening of competitor Urban Air Adventure Park. Another franchise outfit, Urban Air opened in May in Battlefield Mall.
“Sky Zone started the whole trampoline park business,” Hendershot said. “Now, in today’s world, everyone tries to up the game. The innovation is out there.”
Urban Air has multiple elements, including virtual reality games, climbing walls, a “sky rider coaster” and a warrior obstacle course, according to a news release.
Urban Air is ranked No. 2 in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 top new franchise list of 2019. The adventure park also ranked No. 97 out of all of the companies recognized by the magazine.
The adventure park franchise operates throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Austria, according to its website. Urban Air representatives did not return requests for comment.
Urban Air’s pricing structure is divided by attractions. According to its website, a one-day ticket for the entire adventure park is $27. The deluxe attractions, which include trampolines and the warrior course, cost $20, while a one-day pass to utilize only the trampolines is $13. Monthly memberships for unlimited access also are available, ranging in features and prices from $7 to $35 a month.
At Sky Zone, a ticket costs $14 for 60 minutes, $17 for 90 minutes and $22 for two hours. An individual 30-day pass at Sky Zone costs $40, and the 90-day passes cost $50. Hendershot said the park’s prices will not increase once the new features are added.
“We’re happy where we’re at. We’re just trying to stay competitive,” he said.
Frazier-Osburn said the Springfield location’s sales are up 15% from June last year and annual sales are up 12% so far in 2019 compared with 2018.
“We have a great relationship with our community and customers,” she said, declining to disclose revenue projections once the upgrades are complete. “Any time Springfield gets something new to try out, we have a tried and true customer base.”
Sky Zone officials say Urban Air’s move into the market accelerated their planned changes.
The franchise group, owned by Hendershot, Larry Haskett and Andy Gray, is rolling out updates at all of its five locations. In addition to Springfield, trampoline parks in Edmond, Oklahoma, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, are in progress. The group last year completed work on its property in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and its park in Irving, Texas, recently was built with all of the up-to-date features.
Los Angeles-based Sky Zone operates over 300 global locations in 16 international markets. The franchise generates more than $300 million in revenue, according to its website.
The Springfield trampoline park opened in December 2014.
“It seemed like finally the timing was right, and we were going to do it because we’re always wanting to innovate,” Frazier-Osburn said.
At least four groups have filed building permits to start work on East Cherry Street near U.S. Highway 65.
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