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Creating Arlington's trampoline park was a leap of faith

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By John Wolcott
Special to The Herald
Published:
  • The Absolute Air Park in Arlington offers a place where parents and children can have fun together. The indoor trampolines also attract people for fit...

    John Wolcott / SCBJ

    The Absolute Air Park in Arlington offers a place where parents and children can have fun together. The indoor trampolines also attract people for fitness classes, parties and business events.

  • Kam Bradley and her husband, Jeff, have opened Snohomish County's first indoor trampoline business.

    John Wolcott / SCBJ

    Kam Bradley and her husband, Jeff, have opened Snohomish County's first indoor trampoline business.

ARLINGTON -- Imagine a large warehouse filled with trampolines, bouncing kids, jumping adults and even bouncing toddlers, all enjoying the freedom of their airborne world, laughing and screaming with excitement.
That's the experience offered by the new Absolute Air Park in Arlington, the only one of its kind in Snohomish County. Opened in mid-June, the indoor trampoline venue offers a rare opportunity for fun, fitness and fantastic entertainment for all ages, said the company's president, Kam Bradley.
Housed in a 16,800-square-foot building filled nearly wall-to-wall with custom-installed trampolines, the new family-owned business will definitely put a spring in your step and a grin on your face.
Bradley, a Marysville-Pilchuck High School graduate, and her husband, Jeff, an Arlington High School graduate, have longtime roots in the area. Her brother, Tim Salcedo, is the air park's general manager.
Even though their publicity efforts are just beginning, the rows of trampolines already are getting a lot of use during the daily open jump time, at $11 for the first hour and $8 for the second hour during peak periods and weekends. The Wild Child Alley is for ages 2 to 6, in a special, well-protected area. Fitness aerobics classes are scheduled throughout the week, at $8 per class. Also, sign-ups are starting for adult dodgeball league teams.
Open daily for open jump time and up to 14 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, the trampoline park also specializes in parties in the Rebound Room or the Zero Gravity Room, complete with a personal host assigned to each party. Party packages will include pizza from the soon-to-be-completed cafe, and party supplies.
Finishing touches are being applied to a room for corporate meetings or classes, to an electronic games arcade room and to other areas that will come into play in coming weeks.
Above the trampolines is a mezzanine that allows parents to watch their children. Wall-mounted, closed-circuit video screens allow parents to be in one part of the building and still check on their children in another.
The Bradleys have owned the warehouse at 18802 67th Ave. NE since 2001, using it to house their Absolute Drywall Co., which they recently moved to an industrial park in Marysville. Once employing more than 100 workers before the recession, Absolute Drywall continues to be active on a smaller scale, working with builders who buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes.
When the Bradleys weren't able to find new tenants for their warehouse because of the weak economy, they began thinking about how they could use it themselves.
"There are a million things we could have done with this building, but we were intrigued by the idea of an indoor trampoline park because it could serve so many people in so many ways," Kam Bradley said. "With Wi-Fi throughout the building, kids can come here and do homework, too, instead of going home to an empty house after school. Soon we'll be working out ways that school districts in the county can come here for field trips."
It was November when they began getting serious about their new venture. They wrote a detailed business plan and began exploring financing options. Chase Bank stepped up.
"When Chase Bank called and said they'd back it, we were on our way," she said.
There are two other indoor trampoline businesses in Washington state. A third one is about to open in Seattle. Similar enterprises dot the East Coast, Ohio, Texas and California.
"Those are mostly franchises that cost up to $1 million or even more to buy into," Bradley said. "Ours is definitely a local family business that we think will really attract people from a wide area."
Much of the success of the venture so far has come from being disciplined -- with finances, construction, office management, planning and safety requirements.
"It really helped that we also have our own construction company and that we own the building," she said. "Also, we're experienced in running a business. ... We do our own payroll and everything else ourselves."
Perhaps the most disciplined decisions in the business center on everyone's safety, she said.
"You can have a lot of fun here without breaking the rules, so we don't bend them for anyone," Bradley said.
Everyone using the facility must sign a release that acknowledges the dangers of trampolines, although all of the equipment is solidly engineered and installed.
"We have specially trained, uniformed staff who are always present when people are using the trampolines," she said.
"Even without much publicity, we've had a lot of people here and have even gotten calls from people wanting to reserve space for slumber parties and New Year's Eve parties.
"Also, the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club have been here. We're just beginning to get the word out," Bradley said.
Learn more
For more information and videos about Absolute Air Park, go to www.absoluteairpark.com, call 855-788-JUMP or check it out at Facebook.com/AbsoluteAirPark.
Story tags » ArlingtonBusinessInsider storiesSmall business

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