Jump Right In
Launch Trampoline Park adds a generous dose of experiential retail to a franchise concept that’s poised to grow by leaps and bounds.
When thinking about owning a franchise, most people consider the usual suspects in the food and retail spaces. But experiential retail options are expanding, and a concept called Launch Trampoline Park is hoping to attract new franchisees to help families have fun getting fit.
Partnering with former NFL star Ty Law, Launch Trampoline Park’s CEO Rob Arnold put the concept together in 2012 and opened the first location that November in Warwick, RI. Currently there are three locations open and five or six in the works, including in Miami, Pittsburgh, and the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
The concept is a full-on family entertainment center, Arnold says. “We’ve got everything from wall-to-wall trampolines to video arcade games to a café and private birthday party rooms.” Private birthday parties range from $160-$400.
The number of trampolines and other offerings varies due to the size of the space (on average between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet), but most have about 13,000 square feet of trampolines. “Typically there’s a main court with wall-to-wall tramps, and trampolines that go up the walls. There are trampoline dodge ball courts, separate courts for kids under 42 inches, trampolines that go into a foam pit, and trampolines that lead up to a basketball hoop,” Arnold says.
Customers don’t have to be part of a party or event to participate. They can come in for an open jump session, which costs between $13-16 per hour, depending on the location. Arnold says weekends frequently do sell out, and recommends booking tickets in advance online.
The primary target market is families with children ages four to 15. Secondary target audiences are high school and college students. “We do have adult nights also. Our facilities have a great [audio-visual] setup, and we’re cranking music all the time,” Arnold says.
Teen nights are routinely offered at Launch locations. A typical teen night will have a DJ and is geared for ages 13 to 19. “They can jump for two hours for roughly $15. It’s something else for that age group to hang out and do, and it’s an age where parents feel comfortable dropping kids off and not worrying about them,” Arnold says.
Interested franchisees fill out a form online. “We have an initial call and explain everything. Once everyone’s been qualified, the potential franchisee comes to a discovery day at one of our locations. We go through the franchise agreement, walk them through the operations, how we run and answer questions,” Arnold says.
The estimated initial investment for a franchise ranges from $869,933 to $1,420,000. This includes a franchise fee of $50,000 as well as the first three months’ rent, security deposits, trampoline design, manufacture and installation, café furnishings and equipment, location build-out, inventory, point-of-sale system, signage, grand-opening marketing, celebrity endorsement fees, blueprints, permits and working capital to open the business.
Franchisees go through a thorough training. Launch gives an overview of the company and what needs to be done on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. This initial training takes four or five days. “About 12 weeks before opening, the owner will have a general manager selected and hired, and he or she will come for two weekends and one full week at a Launch location. They work through the systems; everything from marketing to selling tickets to sweeping crumbs off the floor,” Arnold says. “About two weeks before the store opens, the corporate team comes and trains all the staff, everyone from the court monitors to café staff and the birthday party host.”
As for liabilities, guests must sign a waiver when they come in, which releases the company from fault should they get injured. Each location has monitors who wear whistles, and carry first-aid kits and backpacks. Monitors are first-aid and CPR certified.
“There are many different features that make our trampolines safe and rated for commercial use,” Arnold says. “There’s risk in anything you go into, but we have insurance policies in place to make sure we’re covered on our end.”
Mall expansion is a huge goal for the company. “We are working on one in a mall as we speak. Our target is moms with kids, and that’s who’s traveling the mall,” Arnold says.
“We need higher ceilings, so it’s been difficult [finding mall spaces]. Not to mention the rent, but one thing the mall appreciates is the number of bodies that come through. We get 150,000 to 250,000 jumpers per year, and for every two-and-a-half jumpers there’s a parent that comes with them.”
Rob says active entertainment is a key selling point of the franchise and differentiates it from others. “You bring something new to the community. People always want things to do with their kids and are looking for healthier entertainment. Kids are exercising; jumping for an hour or more and they don’t even realize they’re exercising … they’re having fun.”
For more information, please visit www.launchtrampolinepark.com.