Rockledge jumps at chance to add Sky Zone trampoline park

Sky Zone serves all ages, from toddlers to seniors.

Sky Zone, the world’s first indoor trampoline park, is bouncing into Rockledge, bringing up to 125 new jobs.

Joe Dillon of Fishers, Ind., plans to open a Sky Zone franchise inside a 30,000-square-foot location next door to the Aldi discount grocer at Murrell Road and Barnes Boulevard. Dillon hopes to be open in early January.

At Sky Zone, visitors wearing special orange "SkySocks" can jump and flip on wall-to-wall trampolines in a main court freestyle area, dive into a "foam zone" filled with 10,000 foam blocks, play dodgeball, and dunk basketballs from trampoline launch pads in a "SkySlam" area.

Sky Zone also offers adult aerobics classes, toddler activities, and party and group event rentals.

"If you walk, you can jump," Dillon said. "We’ve got 85-year-olds who jump at our park in Evansville, Ind."

Dillon plans to add extra features at the Rockledge facility, including a three-level "ninja" course inspired by the TV show "American Ninja Warrior," a rope ladder over the foam zone and a variation on the basketball game using eight hoops.

"We’re going to have more attractions than most traditional Sky Zones right now," he said. "We’re one of the first five parks to install a ninja course."

Dillon, who has been in the pharmaceuticals field but wanted to go into business for himself, said he got interested in Sky Zone after taking his then-3-year-old son, Blake, to a franchise in his hometown. "I couldn’t get him off the trampolines," Dillon said. "My (business) partner approached me and asked me if I’d be interested, and I said, ‘Sure, let’s go try it out.’ "

All participants must sign a waiver before bouncing around. Sky Zone employees help ensure that jumpers follow rules and regulations.

Dillon expects to hire about 100 to 125 employees, with most being of high school or college age. "It’s a big operation," he said.

Rockledge officials contacted Sky Zone on how much they would like to have them in their community, Caroline Miller of Orlando-based real estate advisory firm BishopBeale said in a statement.

"Rockledge was competing with other areas of Florida including Palm Bay and St. Lucie County, ultimately securing the location with Sky Zone," Miller said.

Dillon chose Rockledge because he and his family enjoy Florida’s weather and he has a sister who lives in Satellite Beach and recommended the area. "We frequent the area quite a bit and we could potentially move down there," he said. "The hardest thing with that franchise is finding a good building, and we found a good spot so we went with it."

BishopBeale Senior Retail Executive Davey Brown and Vice President of Retail Services Jill Rose leased the space for the new business, Miller said. The long-term lease is with landlord BH Properties.

Co-founded by Rick Platt and his son, Jeff, in 2004 in Las Vegas, Sky Zone has 107 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Australia. The Rockledge Sky Zone is the 14th location either open, under construction or planned in Florida. The closest open Sky Zone is in Clermont, with another opening soon on International Drive in Orlando.

The company was ranked No. 273 on this year’s Inc. 5000, with 2014 revenues of $167 million, up from $88 million in 2013.

"It’s a cool place," Dillon said. "It keeps kids busy, keeps them out of trouble. It’s been real successful."

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