Trampoline park to open in southeast Tulsa
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 16, 2013
3/18/13 at 12:20 PM
Tulsa's first trampoline park may spring into action as early as June, transforming a 21,000-square-foot warehouse into a high flier's paradise.
Trampoline park builder Case Lawrence said the Area 51 Ultimate Trampoline Park will be part of a nationwide trend involving sprawling collections of bouncy contraptions that are paired with obstacle courses and foam pad pits.
"In some parts it will have wall-to-wall steel frame trampolines," Lawrence said. "The whole industry is really new and sweeping through the country."
Lawrence's company started work this week on the facility at 12356 E. 52nd St. He said it takes about three months to build the structures and create a false floor so the trampolines sit flush with the ground.
The Fresno, Calif.-based entrepreneur has five other parks - in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and near Fresno.
About 10,000 square feet of the Tulsa park will be trampolines. In addition, a foam pad pit will be installed so customers can jump into more than 25,000 cubes of foam from extreme heights and not fear injury, Lawrence said. The same kind of pits are used by Olympic gymnasts, snowboarders and others to work on high-risk moves.
Many of the parks have curved trampolines attached to the walls under basketball hoops - a popular feature for slam-dunk fans, Lawrence said.
The trampoline park trend took hold about two years ago and has expanded to about 100 facilities nationwide. One facility opened near Oklahoma City last spring and another is set to begin operating there soon.
Lawrence said all of his parks are in metropolitan areas with populations of about 1 million - markets where he can set up business with little initial competition.
The Area 51 park will host dodgeball matches with a live referee, as well as fitness classes and an "aerial ninja course" that will let customers test their skills on high-agility obstacles over the foam-padded pit, Lawrence said.
Customers pay by the hour for admission to the park, usually costing $11 to $12 an hour, Lawrence said. The facility will host parties and dodgeball tournaments, and memberships will be available.
Lawrence said his parks strive to make sure the high-flying activity is as safe as possible, employing observers throughout the facility to check on participants.
Customers need to sign a safety waiver, although Lawrence noted that most injuries at trampoline parks are ankle sprains and burns from the trampoline surface.
The southeast Tulsa building for Area 51 is a vacant warehouse.
"We had to find a pretty specific building for the trampoline park, and this one is fantastic," Lawrence said. "It will be the biggest we have."
Area 51 Ultimate Trampoline Park
Location: 12356 E. 52nd St.
Size: 21,000 square feet
Planned opening: June
Original Print Headline: High flier haven
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Murals add atmosphere to Skywalk Trampoline Arena in Fresno, Calif., operated by Case Lawrence. The entrepreneur is developing a similar facility near 51st Street and the Broken Arrow Expressway that is projected to open in June. Courtesy