New Launch Trampoline Park could affect other Meridian Mall attractions

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A new near 32,000 square foot trampoline park is headed to Meridian Mall in the summer. The arrival is highly anticipated for current store managers, but the new park could affect the success of current attractions in the mall for better or worse.

Meridian Mall is home to many popular stores such as JCPenney, Macy’s, Yonkers, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Outside of the stores, however, the mall is also home to a variety of physical attractions for people of various ages. These include Sky High Bungee, Knockerball Entertainment and Extreme Fun.

Knockerball attractions include entering large air-filled balls to bounce around in and play games. Ben Perry is the president of Knockerball entertainment and believes the new park could help business in the mall, he reflected on the chance Launch buy’s knockerballs of their own. This would be a move that would directly compete with his business.

“Obviously whoever is investing into the Launch location has probably got a lot deeper pockets than I do, so if they wanted to they could make my life horrible,” Perry said while imagining Launch with knockerballs of their own. “But if I have something to offer that can complement them, then we can work together.”

Despite Launch being a larger company, Perry stated he doesn’t believe their trampoline park to be direct competition for knockerballs. Instead he said the new attraction will bring more people around.

“It will bring more people to meridian mall, that’s for sure,” Perry said. “and once they’re in the door, it depends on the culture and how we roll with it from there.”

While the Launch Trampoline park has no age restrictions, Britney Hanley, of the blowup and bouncy house park Extreme Fun, has a more focused group of customers.

“Our target customers are children with parents around ages 1 to 12 years old,” Hanley said. “We also get some teenagers to come in and play the arcade games pretty often”

Even if the age group was the same for the two parks, Hanley believes the new park could help them in a good way.

“I think so,” Hanley said. “It brings more kids and adults and everything out here and if they take a break to walk around, they see this, plus there’s a train and everything else so kids will come play.”

Sky High Bungee and Extreme Fun have been in the mall for over five years each, with Knockerball Entertainment entering in December 2017. The current relationship of the three attractions is described as a mixture of natural competition for each other, while helping each other at the same time.

“It’s a mix. It’s impossible to say there’s not some competition,” Perry said. “A lot of times parents will bring a kid in and say ‘one or the other today’ so it’s impossible to say there’s not a level of people deciding which one they’re going to spend their money on.”

Rex Bell of Sky High Bungee is hopeful the effect of Launch will be positive.

“I would hope it’s more of a family mentality,” Bell said. We’re all here to make sure the mall does well. So that’s my hope. I hope it’s not split throat. I hope it’s positive, because the more people that are in here the more people will want to do other stuff like [Sky High Bungee].”

Overall, each store manager and employee stated they believe the new Launch Trampoline Park will positively affect the traffic of the mall, and bring more customers to Meridian. According to Perry, attractions in the mall are becoming a bigger business.

“If you dig in and do more research, as a culture and society were dedicating more of our income to experiences, as opposed to material possessions,” Perry said.

Launch will join the mall this summer across from Campus Den. In a January press release, new Launch Trampoline Park owner Matt Dalson said he’s excited to join Meridian Mall.

“Playing competitive sports on trampolines brings a whole new level of excitement to the game,” said Dalson. “We are excited to work together with the Okemos community and local schools on special events, including corporate functions, family reunions, school field trips as well as fundraisers.”