A new area indoor entertainment park had its grand opening Saturday, donating 20 percent of its proceeds to charity.
Xtreme Air Jump ‘N Skate Park, a 34,000-square-foot facility, houses a skate park, a trampoline court, a large Velcro wall and an arcade. For the opening, the business paired with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to donate money to individuals with the disease.
"Rebounding on the trampolines is good for the sufferers," owner Valorie Martin explained. "Lung activity helps (them) so that they don't have to take medication all throughout the day and lessens the amount of treatments."
Other than concentrating on making charitable contributions, Martin noted that the idea created by her and general manager Lisa Kirkham was aimed at creating a park that caters to all ages, especially parents.
"Every time we go to every other (amusement) park in town, there is nothing for parents," Martin said. "We decided to open one that caters to all ages and the idea evolved from that."
Inside the park, there is a designated area for children up to 7 years old, as well as a section specifically designed for teenagers. Parents also have an area that includes a gourmet café and five televisions hooked up to 17 viewing cameras throughout the park, allowing parents to monitor their children. Individuals can also tan or get a massage in the park's salon, Xtreme Escape, while they wait for their kids. A boutique that sells a variety of exclusive clothing and accessories, Xtreme Bling, is set to open soon as well.
Chandler resident Valliere Jones took her son Bryson to the park the day before the opening. Her initial reaction was surprise when they offered to have her put on a Velcro suit and jump on the wall.
"They asked me if I wanted to bounce, too. That was fun because they gave me that option," Jones said. "I could sit in the lobby and work on a computer but I put the Velcro suit on and jumped on the wall. That was the highlight of the day!"
Though the grand opening was last weekend, the Chandler park has been open for more than six weeks.
"We have had 100 percent positive feedback, with a lot of return customers. Positive word of mouth has brought individuals to the park. Even the feedback we've gotten on Facebook and our website has been overwhelmingly positive," she said.
Jones was impressed at the sheer size of the facility: The different activities, she said, give kids a lot of options so they will not be bored.
The event Saturday hosted a multitude of celebrity skateboarders and BMX riders. Martin and Kirkham partnered with a friend who owns Siren Skateboards and Reliance Skate to bring athletes like Chris Weigele and Caleb Schrank. BMX professional Jon Greer also performed. Those who attended the event had the opportunity to skate with the professionals as well as participate in a contest for best trick on either the skateboard or the BMX.
Martin is confident in both the business model of the park as well as the cost factor.
"I'm not worried at all," Martin said about the economic forecast of the business. "The price point is very affordable for all families - going to the park is less expensive than going to the movies."
Having the grand opening during the summer is also a benefit.
"It's a great time to be opening," she said. "Kids can get bored sitting at home so it's nice that they have this alternative to prevent that."
The focus of the business lies exclusively in catering to local families. As Martin noted, the park was created with them in mind. In fact, Bryson has already asked Jones when he can return to the park.
"We're trying to offer everything we can for the families," Martin said. "Xtreme Air is a clean and fun environment for family-oriented people."
Xtreme Air Jump ‘N Skate Park, 910 E. Pecos Road, is open seven days a week. For more information, call (480) 409-4555. Summer hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.
Anna Gunderson is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.