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Trampoline park is one giant leap for Bridgeville

| Friday, June 6, 2014, 8:00 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Jacob Adwar, 11, of Scott Twp. leaps in the air while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Madison Chabalie, 2, tags her brother, Greyson Chabalie, 14 months, both of Elizabeth while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Brian Calabro of Bridgeville dunks a basketball while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Alyssa Jessloski, a cheerleader with South Fayette High School practices a routine while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Nikki Molinaro, a cheerleader with South Fayette High School practices a routine while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Tori Hillen, a cheerleader with South Fayette High School practices a routine while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.
Randy Jarosz | For the Bridgeville Area News
Brian Calabro of Bridgeville gets hit by a dodgeball from Laurel Tokarczyk of Carnegie while trying out the new Flight Trampoline Park in Bridgeville.

In many ways, the Bridgeville area's newest park is like any other — there's plenty of open space, a play area and you can pick up a game of basketball.

But at Flight Trampoline Park, you'll definitely get more hang time.

“Most people will think of a bounce house, but this is the new fad in indoor retail amusement,” said Dusten Estes of Washington, D.C., co-owner of Flight Trampoline Park.

“We're excited to bring the concept to this area,” he said. Estes, originally from Seattle, brought the idea for an indoor play and sports facility to the East Coast with his two business partners, Cameron Gentry and Dustin Ward.

The three own the four existing Flight parks, which are in New York, Connecticut and Virginia in addition to Washington Pike in Collier, near Bridgeville. Four more parks are planned along the East Coast.

He said most existing trampoline parks are geared toward smaller children, but Flight aims to attract the 12-and-up crowd.

Tori Hillen, a senior at South Fayette High School, has been using the park to practice cheerleading moves.

“You can flip. You can do anything you want,” she said. “You're not limited like you are on the floor.”

She and her friends used to go to Skyzone, a trampoline park in Leetsdale, but said the Flight trampolines are bigger and the location is more convenient.

Estes said the park already has booked nearly 200 birthday parties. Slumber parties also are available, as is corporate team-building and Club Flight, where the park becomes a laser show.

Despite targeting the older crowd, the park is open only for children ages 6 and under each weekday morning. A parent or guardian can jump with them for free.

Rebecca Chabalie had her children, ages 2 12 and 15 months, at the park one recent afternoon. “They love trampolines. The bigger, the better,” she said.

She said they definitely would be back to the park, especially in winter, when the weather isn't conducive to outdoor play.

On the first and third Tuesday of each month the park holds a special-needs night, where the park is open only to children with disabilities. A parent or guardian can jump for free.

The park employs about 45 staff members, most of whom are local, Estes said. Fifteen to 20 oversee a busy day at the park, and staff who oversee the park floor are trained in rules and safety procedures.

Beyond the basic trampolines, the park has a section where jumpers can do flips and other tricks on the trampoline into a large, inflated air bag, similar to one stunt performers use.

“The airbag is safer and more sanitary than your typical foam-block pit, which most places use,” Estes said.

There is a section for trampoline dodgeball. In other places, punching bags hang from the ceiling above the trampolines. He plans to open a section with a “Ninja Warrior”-type obstacle course.

“It allows for a lot of creativity,” he said. “There are lots of options, lots of things to bounce off of. The park is geared toward older kids, but we want to be inviting to all ages.”

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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