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Sunday, December 21, 2014

New trampoline park offers family-friendly leaps and entertainment

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By Juan Labreche / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Jacob Attencio attempts a backflip off a wall at Gravity Park which opened its doors Dec. 15 and is at San Mateo Boulevard and Eagle Rock Avenue. Attencio, a trampoline enthusiast as a child, said the park disguises exercise in a fun way.

culture@dailylobo.com

Albuquerque parents can now flip out with their kids instead of at them, thanks to Albuquerque’s newest haven for trampoline enthusiasts and hyper kids alike.

Gravity Park, opened by owner Zane Hansen on Dec. 15, is Albuquerque’s first trampoline park and welcomes jumpers of all ages. The park features 60 trampolines linked together with one steel frame, and includes a pair of basketball hoops on one side, an Olympic-sized foam pit, a roped off area for trampoline dodge ball and a children’s trampoline area.

Hansen said the idea for opening Gravity Park came to him when he was living in Fresno, Calif., after his children attended a similar trampoline park.

“They kept raving about it, they wouldn’t stop talking, and I thought ‘Man, I’ve got to go to this place,’” Hansen said. “So I went with them, we had a blast and I saw families having fun together, and that was huge. I thought ‘That’s a great business model and a great environment to be a part of.’”

Alongside the edges of the trampolines are trampoline lifeguards who make sure everyone is jumping and playing safely. They are prepared for any possible injury.

Hansen said the trampoline park tries to escape the competitive environment found in many other kids’ sports.

“There’s a lot of negativity in the sporting world. You look at 8- and 10-year-olds at sporting events, screaming at each other, and there are fights and all these crazy things happening. There needs to be a place where people can go and have a positive experience and to get away from that negativity,” he said.

Business development manager Melissa Larranaga-Melfi said the park attracts families looking for a fun way to exercise.

“When you have an Xbox and a Wii that keeps kids secluded in one general area for long periods of time, you need something like this to get them moving, to get their motor skills and brains moving in a different way than just sitting in front of the TV,” she said.

Hansen said 12,000 people have visited the Gravity Park since it first opened. He said the park’s popularity is partly due to its prominent social media presence.

Gravity Park set up a Facebook page and released a YouTube video that led to thousands of “likes” prior to the park’s opening.

Before attendees pay for a one- or two-hour pass, they can “check in” to the location on Facebook for a discount.

Hansen said he wants Gravity Park to be just as entertaining for parents as it is for their kids.

“It’s another thing parents can do with their children and it’s limitless age-wise. The 2-year-olds love it, as well as the 60-year-olds. It really doesn’t matter. The difference between this kind of entertainment and the bounce houses is that you can get out there and have a good time with your child, bounce with them,” he said.

Gravity Park
5300 Eagle Rock Ave. N.E.
Open Monday to Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.,
Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-midnight
Call (505) 407-0954 or go to gravitypark.us for more information