Skywalk Trampoline Arena opens today in Madera

October 19, 2011 

Skywalk Trampoline Arena, a new business with 7,000 square feet of jumping, bouncing play space, opens Thursday.

The first-of-its-kind business for the area is in a former boat showroom in Madera, at 10432 Highway 41, on the Business Route 41 that runs parallel to the highway.

Shoeless customers can bounce across a large trampoline floor and catch air while reaching for punching bags hanging from the ceiling.

An enclosed section lets customers play dodgeball on a trampoline.

And they can launch themselves into a pit filled with 7,000 foam blocks atop a trampoline.

"It's definitely unique. ... It's not like a bounce house," said Bo Gatzka, 28, of the blog Dead in 60 Years who attended a preview of the business Tuesday.

A handful of such trampoline businesses exist nationwide and are becoming more popular, said Skywalk owner Case Lawrence. Lawrence is also the CEO of Clovis-based CargoBay, VentureBay and OfficeBay, which provide incubator-style space for businesses.

He said he was inspired by a visit to San Francisco's House of Air, a similar trampoline arena based in an airplane hangar.

"We just fell in love with it," he said. "I knew the Valley would love something like this."

Skywalk is for all ages, with its target customer ages 10 to 40.

It has private spaces for birthday parties, and will host group events like corporate team-building dodgeball.

It's also planning to host league dodgeball games.

Since bouncing on the trampolines gets the heart racing, Skywalk will host trampoline aerobics classes three weekday mornings.

The middle of the day during the week is geared toward children 6 and younger and their parents.

Every Friday and Saturday night, the business transforms to Club Skywalk, a laser-lighted club atmosphere for teens age 14 and up.

It costs $9 an hour, with varying prices for children during the week and classes. Details at skywalk.us.

The reporter can be reached at bclough@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6431.

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