A national operator of indoor trampoline parks is bouncing into Maine with plans to open the first such facility in Portland.
The company, Utah-based Get Air Sports, has scheduled a neighborhood meeting for 4 p.m. Thursday to discuss the project with nearby property owners.
If approved, the trampoline park would be located at 921 Riverside St., where the neighborhood meeting will be held. Get Air already is under contract with the property owner to lease the 25,000-square-foot, tan-and-brown warehouse and office building. Portland spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said Get Air is scheduled for a public hearing before the city Planning Board on July 22.
According to the neighborhood meeting notice, the facility’s proposed hours of operation are 10 a.m. to midnight.
It would be the third indoor trampoline facility in Maine. The closest one to Portland is Dudziaks School of Gymnastics in Biddeford, and another one, Antigravity Center Trampoline, is in Carrabassett Valley.
Get Air CEO Jake Goodell said Portland has long been high on his list of expansion cities. The company, which operates 12 parks across the country, is growing fast and plans to have 20 open by the end of the year.
“Portland is exactly what we want,” Goodell said. “I build trampoline parks in places where I want to be.”
The family-owned business is based in Ogden, Utah, and was founded in 2011. Goodell said it generates about $15 million to $20 million in sales each year.
The company is in the process of obtaining permits from the city and expects to begin construction later this month, he said.
It has a tentative opening date of late September, Goodell said.
The trampoline-park industry has grown quickly since it began in the mid-2000s, he said. There were just 20 such facilities in 2011, and now about 250 are scheduled to be open by the end of this year, he said.
Indoor trampoline parks are the brainchild of entrepreneur Rick Platt, who built the first one in Las Vegas in 2004, said Goodell, who designed and built Platt’s facility as a contractor.
Platt’s vision was to create a new trampoline-based sport, but the idea failed to garner much interest, he said. As a result, Platt opened the facility to the public, and it was a hit.
Goodell said trampolining is great exercise – participants burn about 1,100 calories an hour, the same as a full sprint.
Trampolines are inherently dangerous, but are responsible for fewer deaths than other children’s recreational equipment, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Trampoline jumping has caused fewer than one death per year on average, compared with 20 deaths per year on swing sets, the commission said.
Most of those deaths have occurred on home trampolines and not at licensed trampoline parks, it said.
However, trampoline injuries are common and result in more than 90,000 emergency room visits per year, it said, particularly sprains, fractures, spinal injuries and sometimes serious head injuries. Most injuries are the result of two or more jumpers colliding, according to the commission. Flips and somersaults are the second-leading cause.
Get Air’s website warns that the use of trampolines can cause “catastrophic injury, paralysis or even death,” whether or not participants follow the house rules.
Customers must sign a liability waiver that prohibits them from suing Get Air in the event of an injury or death.
Still, Goodell said his company is the industry leader in safety and helped create many of the standards that are now used industrywide.
“We have a good safety record, and we are doing everything we can to maintain that record,” he said.