Last Updated on October 1, 2020
As a child, did you spend hours bouncing on your backyard trampoline? You and your friends probably all tried to enjoy it at once, bouncing precariously close to the edge. Trampoline parks bring that same joy of jumping on trampolines to a larger – and safer – scale. While these businesses are still fairly new, they’ve enjoyed tremendous success so far. Starting a trampoline park of your own can be an exciting business venture and, with careful planning, could provide you with a profitable income for years to come.
Trampoline parks have brought the backyard trampoline to a whole new level. These parks feature multiple trampolines surrounded by safety padding, essentially creating a “floor” that’s made for bouncing and jumping. These parks typically market to kids and families, giving children a safe way to play for hours on end. They also create a valuable social activity, allowing kids to meet other children as they play, and making an ideal environment for birthday parties and get-togethers.
These parks have quickly grown from trampoline-only facilities to more involved businesses. Many now combine trampolines with other activities, like laser tag. While trampoline parks still market heavily toward kids, they’re enjoyed by teens and adults, too. They are safer than backyard trampolines, large enough for plenty of people to enjoy them at once, and they provide quite the athletic workout.
According to Market.us, the global trampoline park market reached a valuation of $1,415.2 million in 2018. The market is quickly growing and is predicted to reach $6,897.6 million in value by 2028.
Roller Software reports that trampoline parks first emerged in the mid-2000s, and approximately 1,500 parks currently exist globally. As park popularity has grown, these facilities have begun to appeal to a broad customer base, and they’ve evolved to offer additional activities like rock climbing and laser tag.
Based on a survey that Roller Software conducted from April through June of 2019, the age 6 through 10 age group represented the largest portion of jumpers, at 35%. The 11 to 15-year-old age group was the second largest group, though toddlers and adults in their 20s and 30s also used these parks. People age 40 and over do use the parks, too, but less frequently.
The trampoline park industry is still relatively new, but it’s already been affected by and responded to many trends. According to US Design Lab, the exercise and physical fitness element of trampoline parks are appealing to many. NASA scientists reported that jumping on a trampoline for 10 minutes offers a better cardiovascular workout than you would see after running for 33 minutes. Parks can harness this benefit to appeal to adults seeking to get fit or parents looking to keep their kids healthy and active.
Themes have become important elements in generating traffic at these parks, too. Themes like date nights, disco nights, and toddler time appeal to different audiences, creating exciting events and expanding a business’ customer base.
These parks are also increasingly being used for different purposes. Fundraising for nonprofits and corporate team building events are just a few ways that these parks can become more versatile, increase their income streams, and even generate increased traffic during off-peak times.
According to Regiondo, as the industry has grown, customers have begun to seek out increased variety. The days of a park consisting only of trampolines are over – now parks need to give customers choices between different activities to keep them engaged. Adding new equipment and activities like ninja courses and rock climbing facilities can help to keep these parks appealing, encouraging customers to come back again and again.
One of the great benefits of a trampoline park is that it can be tailored to appeal to many audiences. The primary audience will always be families with children who are looking for a way to keep their children active and entertained. Secondary audiences may be adventure-seeking teens and adults who want to experience a day of fun activities, corporate staff seeking a team-building experience, and nonprofits looking for a fundraising opportunity.
Skills, Experience, and Education
Running a trampoline park doesn’t require a business degree, but certain experiences and skills can be helpful.
Physical fitness and safety background. A background in physical fitness and safety can be an asset when designing a facility and creating activities that are fun, stimulating, and safe for kids and adults.
Experience working with children. Trampoline parks’ customers are primarily children, so experience in and a love of working with kids are valuable traits to have.
Creativity. When designing the facility’s layout and coming up with unique marketing and event ideas, a little creativity will be highly valuable.
Customer service skills. Previous customer service experience will be helpful when interacting with customers and ensuring they have a positive experience with every visit.
Management experience. Experience in hiring, training, and managing staff will ensure that a business owner can put together a great team of employees who can represent the park well.
Costs to Start a Trampoline Park
Startup costs for a trampoline park, especially one that is built from scratch, can be significant. Plan to spend at least $100,000 to start a smaller park, while a larger venue with more activities like rock climbing can cost $200,000 or more to start up.
Common startup costs for a trampoline park include:
- Renovation or construction costs
- Equipment like trampolines and safety padding
- Furniture like benches and tables
- Entertainment accessories like sound and lighting systems
- Concession stand and inventory of food and drinks
Steps to Starting a Trampoline park
Step 1. Write your Business Plan
After coming up with the idea, the next step in starting your business should be to write a business plan. Not only will a bank require you to have a business plan, but multiple studies have shown that a business plan helps increase the odds of starting a successful business.
Step 2. Form a Business Entity
A business entity refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business entities to choose from which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and LLC. Each type of entity has its own pros and cons such as liability exposure, costs and administrative requirements.
Related: Comparison of Business Entities
Step 3. Select your Location
A facility’s rent or mortgage will depend on the park’s location, the building size, and amenities that are available. Parks located in prime retail and entertainment locations can bring in valuable walk-in traffic, and some parks have had success securing space within shopping malls and plazas. These locations bring premium rental pricing, but they can also bring in valuable walk-in traffic because of their convenience.
Related: Choosing a business location
Step 4. Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
A trampoline park owner will need to obtain certain business licenses and permits. These permits and licenses can vary based on the state and town where the business is located.
Step 5. Find Financing
Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start a trampoline park is another. In order to get a loan, the borrower(s) will need to have good credit and be able invest 15-25% of their money towards the total start-up costs.
Step 6. Get your Marketing Plan in Place
Marketing is important to not only generating initial awareness of the business, but also in promoting special events and continuously bringing in new customers. Common marketing techniques include social media marketing, online advertising, print advertising, radio advertising, and more. Loyalty rewards programs can also encourage frequent returning customers. Marketing costs will vary depending on the type of activity performed.
Step 7. Get Insurance
A trampoline park will need several types of insurance for full coverage:
- General liability insurance helps to protect the park against medical bills and other expenses that might result if a customer is ever injured on the property.
- Commercial property insurance can help to cover expenses the park might face if the facility or its equipment were ever damaged or destroyed in an event like a fire.
- Workmans comp insurance helps to cover expenses like medical bills that the park might face if an employee were ever hurt while on the job.
Insurance policy costs can vary from provider to provider, and they’re also affected by factors like the business’ location and the value of its equipment. To get the most accurate idea of what to budget for insurance, request quotes from multiple providers. When comparing the quotes, look beyond just the premiums and consider how the deductibles, policy exclusions, and coverage limits differ, too.
Step 8. Hiring Employees
Trampoline parks will need multiple employees. According to Glassdoor, Skyzone Trampoline Park cashiers make an average of $9 per hour, while assistant managers make approximately $11 per hour. Operations managers make an average of $38,100 per year.
In addition to budgeting for staff salaries, a park’s budget will need to include other costs that come with hiring employees. These expenses can include workman’s comp insurance, unemployment insurance, and paid time off.
Related: Hiring your first employee
How much can you potentially make owning a trampoline park?
Owning a trampoline park can be highly profitable, especially if the park has appealing marketing and events and is located in a prime area where the target market has plenty of disposable income. Soft Play reports that a park in California reports annual profits of $780,000, and some franchises make millions in profits each year.
Keep in mind that those results aren’t typical of a single independent park, but independent parks can still be quite successful. Factors like a park’s location, size, event offerings, and profit margins will all affect its profitability. Careful planning and market research can help to increase the chances of a park being a success.
Things to consider before starting a trampoline park
Starting a trampoline park requires a significant initial investment, and it can also take a few years before the business turns a profit. If you plan to approach banks or investors for funding, then you’ll need to draw up a detailed business plan and include plenty of market research to demonstrate that your plan for the park can be a success.
Trampoline parks are family-oriented businesses, so it’s particularly important to find staff who will enjoy working in that environment. Staff who genuinely enjoy working with kids and who have friendly, outgoing personalities can make a great impression on parents and kids. This positive interaction can make each visit to the park memorable for customers, encouraging them to return again in the future.