There’s a new legal way to get high in Baton Rouge.
Trampoline parks are the newest frontier in recreation, and now two warehouse-sized parks — Area 51 Extreme Air Sports and Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park — are opening here.
These parks feature thousands of square feet of trampolines, with basketball goals to dunk and foam pits to flip into.
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“This is something a family can do together,” said Peter Busenlener, the franchisee of the Sky Zone park that will open this summer. “I love bowling and things like that, but it’s a little stale. This is innovative and new.”
Area 51, developed by Chase Lawrence, who has created similar parks internationally, opened last week at 10111 The Grove Ave., east of the Mall of Louisiana. In a 25,000-square-foot building, it features a large open jump field with dozens of interconnected trampolines, a trampoline dodgeball court and basketball goals. In addition, the park has a rock climbing wall and a “ninja warrior” obstacle course over a foam pit. Jumpers can also spring off a trampoline or swing off a trapeze into a foam pit.
The huge field of joined trampolines has a “moon-jump effect where they can continuously jump,” said Aaron Tucker, general manager of Area 51.
While a target market of the trampoline park appears to be the same as roller rinks and laser tag arenas — birthday parties — the trampoline parks attract adults as well as kids, Tucker said.
Adult teams and companies come for dodgeball, he said, and trampoline aerobics classes are popular.
“There really is no limitation,” Tucker said. “Anybody of any age is able to use whatever they want.”
At Sky Zone, “if you can walk, you can jump,” Busenlener said.
But the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons does recommend that children 6 and younger avoid trampolines.
Both at Area 51 and Sky Zone, which will open in June, employees watch the bouncers to ensure nothing gets too extreme.
“We always encourage people to stay within their physical limitations,” Tucker said. “We never encourage people to stray beyond that.”
Injuries are impossible to prevent, Busenlener said, but the design of Sky Zone and the number of staff cuts down on the danger.
Sky Zone, one of the originators of the trampoline park trend, opened a smaller venue in Lafayette, at 3814 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, earlier this year.
Their Baton Rouge location, at Siegen Lane and Industriplex Boulevard, will be 26,400 square feet.
It will feature a large trampoline field, a tumbling track for the gymnastically inclined, basketball goals, a foam pit and several dodgeball courts. Each trampoline area will be surrounded by banked trampoline walls with an entrance and exit point with thickly padded flooring so no one lands on a hard surface.
Busenlener said he was looking for something innovative to bring to his home state of Louisiana, which he feels often gets overlooked by companies.
“What is Louisiana really looking for?” he said he asked himself. “What is going to help our kids get off the sofa a little bit?”
He’s betting they’re going to jump into this trend.
Area 51, 10111 The Grove Ave.
1 hour: $13
2 hours: $20
Sky Zone has not set prices for its upcoming BR location. Its Lafayette location’s prices are:
30 minutes: $12
1 hour: $16
90 minutes: $20
2 hours: $24