The indoor trampoline park industry has taken off over the past decade like a giant leap through the air. Both kids and adults enjoy bouncing around and playing games on trampolines, and they are willing to pay for the experience. Jumping on trampolines is not only fun, but it’s also a great way to get in shape. NASA research confirms that 10 minutes of jumping on a trampoline is a more efficient cardiovascular exercise than over 30 minutes of running.
If you’re thinking about opening a trampoline park or enhancing the one you have, now is a great time to get started. Parents are on the lookout for healthy and fun activities for their kids. Likewise, health-conscious adults can’t wait to add some fun and adventure to their workout routine. Owning a commercial trampoline park can be a rewarding, profitable experience, especially as the indoor park industry continues to grow.
Before starting a trampoline park or upgrading a current park, you will need to have a plan in place. It seems simple in theory, but there’s plenty more to consider and figure out. To develop a strong trampoline park business plan, you’ll have to know what supplies you will need to run your business, who your customers will be and who will serve your customers.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to open an indoor trampoline park, covering everything from trampoline park design tips to equipment costs and funding. We’ll also look at trends and exciting ideas for improving a trampoline park. Building a trampoline park requires a passion for fun and a drive to succeed. It also takes some solid business know-how and the finances to back up the effort. Once you see your customers smile and the revenue starts to roll in, you’ll be glad you took the leap.
Trampoline Park Business Overview
Trampolines were developed in 1934 and originally used to train astronauts and athletes. However, trampolines became popular with the general public once people realized simply how much fun they are.
Trampolines really took off around 2004 when the first indoor trampoline park opened. Since then, trampoline parks have grown into a billion dollar industry, with about 700 parks worldwide.
Indoor trampoline parks are highly popular and continue to grow because they appeal to all ages. They offer a healthy way to have fun with friends, family and other people in the community. People don’t just jump at trampoline parks either — they also play games like dodgeball or basketball, making it even more fun and engaging for visitors.
1. How Does a Trampoline Park Make Money?
A trampoline park business charges customers a fee for jumping on trampolines for a certain amount of time. For example, you might charge customers $10 for an hour, and $15 for two hours. You might also charge customers to rent gear, like special jump socks. Lastly, you can offer snacks and drinks or other forms of entertainment to further increase your profit (and to provide additional energy for your guests!).
2. Who’s the Target Market?
Trampoline parks offer fun and fitness for adults, children and families. With that said, trampoline parks are still mostly kid-focused, and they provide the perfect solution for parents who want to find a healthy activity for their kids. Also, kids love to have birthday parties at an indoor trampoline park, and parents enjoy the convenience of hosting a birthday party outside of their home. Overall, families with disposable income will be your target market.
3. What Location Is Best?
The best way to find the ideal location for your indoor trampoline park is to first research the competition. Competition can be fierce in a city where numerous trampoline parks already exist, so it may be best to distance yourself from those locations. However, plenty of cities and towns still don’t have any indoor trampoline parks, which can be a perfect opportunity for those looking to enter the business. Even an out-of-the-way location can attract customers because most people are willing to drive to have a unique and fun experience.
You also need to consider the building you wish to use for your business and make sure it’s appropriate for trampoline park use. Naturally, indoor trampoline parks require high ceilings and a large open space as your guest bounce to new heights. A former industrial building or warehouse, for example, may be the perfect spot. Other areas to consider when choosing your location include whether parking will be readily available for your customers, and what the nearby businesses are. For instance, if you can lease a large building near a supermarket, parents will appreciate being able to shop and have fun with their kids all in the same location.
4. How Do You Design and Manufacture a Trampoline Park?
According to the International Association of Trampoline Parks (IATP), business owners want a building that has a minimum of 18,000 square feet. The ceiling height must be 17 feet measured from the floor to the lowest obstruction in the building. Taller is typically better, but if you meet the minimum requirement then you’re in the clear.
On average, most trampoline parks in the U.S. are between 25,000 and 35,000 square feet. Overall, the trampoline court should occupy an average of 45 to 50 percent of the total square footage. With the extra space, you’ll have room for a lounge, bathrooms and other entertainment options if you wish to expand your business in the future. You want to design the layout to keep food areas, restrooms and check-in separate from the trampoline court.
The actual trampoline area should consist of about 50 to 60 trampolines. The trampolines will be connected and surrounded by cushioning so that jumpers will either fall onto another trampoline or on top of a cushion no matter which way they fall.
To manufacture the trampoline park, you’ll first want to find a reputable builder. Leave it to the pros: a trampoline park builder will use licensed contractors, engineers and other professionals to ensure they’ve created a durable, high-quality park. Alternatively, you might also be able to purchase an already existing trampoline park so you do not need to build a completely new park.
Costs to Build a Trampoline Park
The first step to funding your indoor trampoline park is to develop a business model. A trampoline park business model will state what your company offers that is of value to customers in a way that sets you apart from competitors. It should also include startup costs, the sources of your finances, your marketing strategy and projected revenue and expenses.
To help you get started planning the financial aspect of your business, let’s look at how much it generally costs to build a trampoline park and expected trampoline park revenue:
1. How Much Does It Cost to Open a Trampoline Park?
Initial costs to build a trampoline park are usually high because they require a custom-built trampoline court. According to the IATP, it requires an average initial investment of $1.2 million to $1.8 million to open a trampoline park. Equipment costs typically include the following:
- Trampoline flooring: You can purchase units by square foot for around $60 to $100, or you can buy a pre-built trampoline floor which may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
- Basketball hoops: Basketball hoops may cost anywhere from $20 to $50 each.
- Toys: Basketballs, soft footballs and various other toys may cost a trampoline business owner anywhere from $100 to $500.
- Refreshments: Drinks and snacks may range from $1,000 to $2,000 to get started. Common refreshment options include bottled waters and sports drinks, fountain drinks, fruit, candy, soft pretzels, and pizza.
- Trampoline socks: Trampoline jumping socks cost anywhere from $40 to $100, depending on the quantity you purchase.
To save on manufacturing costs, contact several contractors and get quotes so you can compare them before making a choice. If you can find a building that already has the space requirements for a trampoline park, you’ll be off to a good start.
2. What Are the Funding Options?
There are several ways to find funding for your indoor trampoline park. Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs open new businesses with a little help. Here are just a few financing options for your business:
- Use your savings: The easiest way to finance a company is to tap into your checking or savings account. Though it can be a significant out-of-pocket cost, using your own money also shows your dedication to your business to potential investors, which may help secure additional funding in the future. You might sell personal assets to fund your business as well.
- Use credit cards: Credit cards may come in handy to purchase necessary items for your business, but keep in mind that credit cards come with high-interest rates. If you choose to use credit cards, make sure to go with one that offers rewards programs for businesses in order to get a bit back from your spending.
- Get a bank loan: You may be able to obtain a bank loan for your business, but these can be challenging to get. One nice thing about a bank loan is that they typically offer lower interest rates than a credit card.
- Borrow from friends or family: Borrowing from friends or family is a popular option for business owners and can be an easy way to obtain funding. Make sure to sit down with them and go over loan terms such as how much is to be borrowed, interest charged and repayment. Make sure everything’s in writing for reference.
- Apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan: You may be eligible for an SBA-guaranteed loan. Through the SBA, you may be able to borrow as much as $5 million — more than enough to start a trampoline park. Certain restrictions apply, and you must comply with SBA standards. If you choose to go this route, an SBA lender can guide you through the process.
- Get a microloan: If you have most of the funds you need but need to fill a gap, you may be eligible for a microloan ranging from $500 to $35,000. A microlender, instead of a bank, is usually more flexible with loan requirements. However, they tend to charge slightly higher interest rates than banks.
- Reach out to an angel investor: If you can’t get a loan or don’t have enough assets, you may be able to find someone who is interested in investing in your business. An angel investor is an individual who will invest in your business usually in exchange for an equity stake in the new company.
- Use crowdfunding: You might consider using a crowdfunding website to raise money for your business. Friends, family and strangers can use the site to donate money and help you reach your goal. It helps to promise donors something in exchange, and you’ll need a good story to generate excitement about your business.
3. How Much Profit Does a Trampoline Park Make?
Initial costs are high to open a trampoline park, but the profits can be high, too. For example, one trampoline park in California has an annual profit of $780,000. Some big names in the industry make millions in total annual revenue.
It’s up to you how much you want to charge customers per hour to jump on trampolines. However, consider your location. If your business is in a high-rent area, you may be able to charge slightly higher than average. On the other hand, if your business is in a low-rent area, you might want to charge lower than average in order to better fit the demographic.
The most substantial expenses for running a trampoline park include rent, maintenance and labor costs. You’ll also need to pay for insurance, marketing and utilities. If you become a certified service technician through the IATP, you’ll be able to maintain your trampoline park on your own.
You can drastically increase profits and keep families in the facility longer by adding concessions and other forms of entertainment. No matter what you do, you can typically expect to wait an average of eight to 12 months to see a return on your investment.
Franchise vs. Starting a Trampoline Park
Opening a trampoline park franchise might be the way to go for individuals who want to benefit from an established business with a well-known brand name. However, startup costs are usually higher for opening a franchise rather than starting a business from scratch. The advantages of owning a franchise include:
- Widespread brand awareness
- Access to an established customer base which otherwise could take years to build
- Increased chance of success because you’ll use proven methods and products
- Assistance with site selection, construction, financing, training and opening the location
- Ongoing support for advertising, management and more
It’s true that owning a franchise offers many benefits. However, when you operate a franchise, you are not completely independent. If you prefer to set your own rules, you might want to start your own trampoline park. When you have complete ownership of your business, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- Freedom to choose the products and services you offer
- No initial franchise fee
- No ongoing royalty or advertising fees
- Freedom to manage your business as you wish
- No restrictive franchise agreement
Overall, if you want complete independence with your business, it might be best to start your trampoline park from scratch. However, if you are willing to pay the higher initial costs, and deal with certain restrictions in exchange for additional support, a franchise can be a profitable, supportive path to take.
Marketing Your Trampoline Park and Growing Your Business
Because trampoline parks appeal to all ages, you’ll want to market your business to different age groups to maximize your revenue. It’s best to target different demographics separately and hold events throughout the day to appeal to each group.
For example, you might offer evening dodgeball games for adults or daily morning fitness classes. For kids, you can hold an after-school jumping club. You can promote every class and event where your target audience spends a lot of time, such as at libraries or recreation centers. These classes, clubs and events will keep customers coming back to help your business grow. Other ways to market your indoor trampoline park include:
- Putting up signs and fliers throughout the neighborhood
- Hand out brochures
- Give away discount coupons to entice people to check out your trampoline park
- Advertise on your own website and social media
Trends and Ideas for Trampoline Park Success
Here are tips you can use to make your park appeal to a vast audience. Whether you’re just getting started or have owned a trampoline park for years, these tips will boost your business to the next level.
1. Improve Your Ticket System
Many customers appreciate the convenience of purchasing tickets online. To appeal to all kinds of customers, set up an efficient system that allows customers to purchase tickets quickly and securely online as well as onsite. Make it easy for customers to select the date, time and quantity of tickets. Also, allow customers to sign digital waivers so they can start jumping and having fun the moment they arrive. You might encourage customers to book online to ensure they get tickets before they sell out.
New trampoline park owners will want to have this system in place before they open their doors. Existing park owners should add the option to purchase tickets online if they do not have this feature. You can also add the option to purchase upgrades like VIP passes to make more profit and increase customer satisfaction.
2. Offer Competitive Deals
Offer customers exceptional deals and stand out from the rest. You can boost sales and attract large groups by offering discounts for group purchases. Consider offering deals for purchasing monthly passes and encourage customers to sign up in advance.
Don’t forget to include enticing package deals for special events like birthday parties or corporate events to attract a variety of customers. Outline everything a party package includes on your site and how much it costs so that customers can make decisions quickly. Include items such as party favors, food and any other items that come with the package. Consider giving customers the option to upgrade or customize packages. Strive to make your trampoline park the perfect setting for a memorable celebration.
3. Upgrade Your Food Options
Make sure to offer food both kids and adults love, including healthy items, to appeal to a wider audience. Today’s consumers are more aware of healthy eating, so think outside of the pizza box.
Consider ways to increase food sales. For example, you might give customers the option to add food packages to their tickets at a discounted price. Let customers know exactly how much they’ll save upfront, and advertise your food deals online and in-store.
4. Offer Innovative Equipment
Your equipment is the most important element of your trampoline park. If you offer unforgettable ways for kids and adults to have fun, they’ll be back for more adventure in the future. Choosing new, exciting equipment will also make you stand out from other trampoline parks, especially if customers have an experience they can’t find anywhere else.
You can fully use your space by adding a variety of equipment and engaging activities for kids and families. For example, you could install the interactive game STOMP into any small space. STOMP is a fun, high-action game where players compete against each other as they stomp their way to the highest score. STOMP is a piece of freestanding play equipment that adds a memorable touch to your park. A game like STOMP can be the factor that makes a family choose your park over competitors.
If you want to elevate your trampoline park where competitors can’t reach you, consider adding an adventure playground the entire family can enjoy. At Soft Play®, we offer adventure playground systems that’ll attract customers and make them return next time they’re craving a thrilling experience. Our challenging, innovative adventure structures are designed to engage people of all ages and abilities – perfect for families who want to experience the adventure together. Our belayed and non-belayed adventure courses use state-of-the-art equipment to take customers high into the sky for a unique climbing experience. You can add an adventure course to the indoor space, or consider expanding your trampoline park to the outdoors.
You might charge an additional fee to use an adventure course, or offer package deals that include access to the adventure course. Or, you could include the course in the general ticket cost, and watch your overall sales skyrocket.
5. Show Customer Appreciation
Make your customers feel appreciated by providing top-notch customer service and staying in touch. Give them the option to receive special deals through email and keep customers engaged. Share the news of new equipment or any events you might have to celebrate your customers. Let them know the park is designed for their enjoyment, and share pictures of the equipment in action to provide a better visual. Make customers feel like you haven’t forgotten about them, and they won’t forget about you.
Make Your Trampoline Park Even Better With Soft Play
Entrepreneurs need to set themselves apart from the competition if they want their business to thrive. So, if you’re ready to start an indoor trampoline park or upgrade your current park, you need to determine what will make customers choose your park over another. How can you differentiate yourself and offer a unique experience that will keep customers coming back?
One way to boost the fun level and make customers excited to return is to offer adventurous indoor play equipment. At Soft Play, we have what you need to build an unforgettable indoor trampoline park.
We offer innovative, non-traditional play structures and equipment to make kids jump for joy, and make your business grow. For example, make your trampoline park a place where kids can not only bounce around on trampolines but also swing on a Wobble Hopper, maneuver and balance through a Wiggle Waggle maze or climb up a Roller Run. We also offer a vast array of play systems, both large and small, to keep kids and parents happy and active for hours.
If you don’t see what you need, we offer customization options to fit any theme or vision. All of our equipment is manufactured for the highest quality and installed by professionals who care. If you want to take your indoor trampoline park to new heights by enhancing it with ultra-fun play equipment, Soft Play makes it possible and can increase your business revenue by attracting more families to your trampoline park. For a free quote, contact us today.