When Brighton resident Colleen Fitzgerald took her children to a Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park location in Columbus, OH, in fall 2010, she knew she had to bring the idea back to Michigan.
"Every single (person) had a blast," she said. "It was a great workout, they couldn't wait to go back again."
The business offers wall-to-wall trampolines with such amenities as basketball hoops, a 3-D dodgeball court, free-jumping space and plenty of space for children's and corporate parties.
"That kind of an activity to me just doesn't exist (elsewhere)," she said. "Bringing that home to Michigan just seemed like a great idea."
Fitzgerald opened Sky Zone in Canton on July 20 after searching for just the right spot for Michigan's first location of the fledgling franchise, bringing with it about 100 local jobs. The Canton location is the company's 21st facility nationwide.
Finding the Canton location, located at 42550 Executive Drive off of Michigan Avenue, proved even easier than Fitzgerald had planned.
Fitzgerald said she started looking closer to home, trying to find a building with the right dimensions, location and community to support the business.
"We kind of happened to luck into this building," Fitzgerald said. The facility is situated near Arctic Edge Ice Arena and Canton's softball fields. The location, she said, can help the business cater to active families.
Fitzgerald quickly built up a team of about 100 dedicated employees, many who are students working a summer job. Fitzgerald said the business continues to take applications and she is seeking someone to lead the facility's fitness program.
The business caters to both families and professionals, Fitzgerald said, offering fun activities for children's parties, field trips and corporate team-building exercises.
Sky Zone is offering its inaugural 3-D Dodgeball tournament at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16. A national tournament also is planned with Michigan's regional tournament set for Oct. 4, with the winning teams from each of the company's regions headed to Los Angeles to compete for a $100,000 grand prize.
The facility also offers Sky Mania from 9-11 p.m. on Fridays for jumpers 10-15 years old, and Sky Jam from 10 p.m.-midnight for jumpers 16 and older.
Fitzgerald said the park offers a social atmosphere and lighthearted fitness activities, much like roller rinks did during their heyday.
"The closest thing we had (growing up) was going to the roller rink," she said. "There hasn't been anything new in 20 years."
Fitzgerald already is in the beginning stages of opening a second location in the Metro Detroit area, eyeing properties between Novi and Milford, and a Grand Rapids location is in the works with a different franchise owner, she said.
A corporate human relations official by day, Fitzgerald said she enjoys the upbeat atmosphere at the park as a change of pace from the fast-paced corporate world, in spite of the work involved in opening the location.
"It's a lot of fun," she said. "It's a lot of work getting it up and running, a great team effort."