Gilroy’s Newest Amusement Park is a Big Bounce

Jump, Jump, Jump

Gilroy has a new attraction that will have area kids jumping for joy.
Rockin’ Jump, an indoor trampoline park, has opened on 8787 San Ysidro Ave., next to Gold’s Gym and near the Gilroy Premium Outlets.
The designed-for-all-ages park, features a Vertical Ops Wall, Trampoline Dodgeball, the X-Beam (foam lance dueling), the Slam Dunk Zone, Stunt Bag or the Open Jump Zone.
Co-owner Scott Carnathan, 54, started as a Rockin’ Jump investor in Modesto and Merced before be made the leap to purchase franchising rights in Gilroy. He, along with co-owner Eldon Shreve, saw a need for youth entertainment in Gilroy and decided to open up.
“They help you out from A to Z. They’re so organized and well run, it’s a great franchise to be part of,” Carnathan said. “I’ve never owned anything like this and to be part of watching these kids jump around and be happy is great.”
Finding a suitable building for the location that would accommodate jumpers and the 27-foot climbing wall was difficult. Negotiating the lease at 8787 San Ysidro Ave took over a year to complete.
Co-founders Drew Wilson and Marc Callopy opened their first park in Dublin, CA in 2010. The 20,000 square foot park set the standard for a second park that opened a year later in San Carlos, CA. After a third park opened in San Jose in 2013 the company branched out into franchising. Rockin’ Jump now has 46 locations from California, to the east coast of the U.S. and international locations in Bangkok Thailand and Burlington Ontario.
Franchising rights are $50,000 to secure a location and the franchise owner is required to pay 6-percent of gross revenue goes back to Rockin’ Jump. Liability insurance costs are kept lower through cooperation between franchises.
“The liability is under an insurance policy that all 46 locations are under. We get a group rate so it’s not as bad as people would think,” Carnathan said.
Kids dominate the park. Dozens hop around in the Open Jump Zone, while others scale the Vertical Ops Wall. At the Slam Dunk Zone, lines queue up to make their best Draymond Green impressions at the basketball hoops, while others nearby do backflips and cannonballs into the long and squishy cushion at the Stunt Zone.
“It’s like taking your dog to the dog park,” said Deana Barth.
Barth, who works in an animal hospital, sat next to the Open Jump Zone, watching her young daughter through a mesh net, as she hopped around nearby. The majority of the other parents sit, watching from the long black cushioned benches in the middle of the park or stand on the sidelines of the activities, snapping photos with their cell phones.
“Sometimes I get worried about the over-stimulation,” Barth said.
Pop music (Katy Perry, Sia, etc.) plays over the cacophony of kids bouncing, squealing, yelling and laughing. At intervals, a Rockin’ Jump employee announces a birthday over the loudspeaker. The park resonates with energy on a busy Saturday afternoon.
Local high school students Kyron Jackson, 16 and Christian Nieves, 15, are standing in line for the dodgeball area. They’re on their third go-around for Trampoline Dodgeball and they throw the ball with more velocity than many players are capable of avoiding.
“I think it’s really cool. I like it. It’s obviously popular and crowded,” said Jackson.
“I’d definitely come back,” said Nieves, 15.
Jackson and Nieves take turns on the X-Beam. Each armed with a four-foot foam lance. They must keep their balance on the beam while they parry with each other with the soft weapons. The loser drops off the beam and onto a large, blue, cushion. When their turn if finished, another, younger duo, do battle.
Numerous grandfatherly and grandmotherly people sit in electronic massage chairs (like the ones found in malls or airports) with their back to the Vertical Ops Wall while another row oversees the Slam Dunk Zone. They observe the jumpers as they sit, vibrating in the message chairs. Some parents and adult couples jump along with the kids.
“A lot of time the parents come in and they don’t know that they can jump with their kids. But, when they find out, they get brave and do it,” said general manager Jorge Salano, 42. “It’s good exercise too.”
Salano is a busy man. Saturdays are the busiest. He simultaneously manages the front of the park and is intermittently brought to attention when called to the jumping area by double whistles, which indicate he’s needed. In between whistles, he administers the check-in area, the snack bar, kitchen along with the dining area.
Televisions line the walls around the dining area. Sports or cartoons play on the TVs as customers eat or rest on the square tables. Wifi is available for busy weekend warriors who need to work on their laptops.
Rockin’ Jump employees oversee each attraction. Most are high school students who watch over each activity, serving as safety monitors and referees for the more competitive jumps like the X-Beam and Dodgeball Zone.
All jumpers are required to sign a safety waiver and watch a safety video before they are allowed to jump. Inspections of the trampolines are conducted every morning before opening and at the end of the night everything is cleaned and disinfected. The springs are checked every morning.