Doctors cautiously open new trampoline park here The Chandler Arizonan

Doctors cautiously open new trampoline park here

Doctors cautiously open new trampoline park here
Business
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By Kevin Reagan
Arizonan Staff Writer

Dr. Luis Esparza and Dr. Suhaireirene Barake have a competitive advantage of sorts over most other entrepreneurs attempting to start a new business amidst a global pandemic.

The husband and wife are both board-certified physicians and have a deep understanding of how viruses spread and infect the human body.

Barake specializes in infectious diseases for Dignity Health and Esparza has a private practice in sports medicine.

That’s why the couple is acting extra cautiously when it comes to opening up their new trampoline park in southern Chandler.

Located in a 30,000-square-foot facility near Alma School and Queen Creek roads, the couple’s Big Air Trampoline spot is full of obstacle courses, playgrounds, zip lines, and climbing walls.

There’s something to keep every family member of any age active and engaged, Esparaza noted.

Their franchise was scheduled to open in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic quickly delayed those plans and forced the owners to rethink how they could still provide a safe, clean space for patrons.

“We don’t have the secret formula for any of this,” Esparza said, noting that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don’t exactly have specific guidelines for opening trampoline parks.

That forced Esparza and his wife to tread carefully before deciding to open their doors.

Entertainment venues, gyms and recreation centers were some of the first businesses to shutter when COVID-19 cases started to proliferate around Arizona back in March.

The close, person-to-person contact often experienced at those types of venues was thought to create a breeding ground for the contagious coronavirus.

Though Gov. Doug Ducey lifted his stay-at-home restrictions on these businesses a a month ago, Esparza and Barake waited until June 13 to officially open Big Air to the public.

The couple said they wanted to take the time to extensively research various cleaning products and effective protocols for limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Esparza said they’ve decided to lower their building capacity by 50 percent and have asked customers to book a timeslot online before arriving at the business.

Hand-sanitizer stations have been erected around the park and staff have been trained to clean all surfaces throughout their shift. Big Air’s employees will additionally be required to wear masks and check their temperature on a regular basis. 

Barake said their medical background has proven to be helpful during this uncertain time.

They instinctively approach nearly everything from a medical perspective, she said, and have been treating the public’s health as their first priority.

“We’re trying our best to keep everybody safe,” Barake added.

Despite the remedies put in place to protect customers, Big Air’s owners intend to remain flexible for the near future as the COVID-19 crisis continues to play out.   

Esparza said they’re approaching this pandemic on a day-to-day basis and are preparing to make drastic changes in case Arizona’s rate of infection continues to rise. 

“We’re ready to shift gears at any time,” he said. “You have to be ready for anything that can happen.”

According to the Chandler Fire Department, the number of COVID-19 cases in the city’s zip codes jumped by 27 percent during the second week of June.

These last couple months have been stressful, Esparza added, but his family has invested the last two years into their Big Air business and is eager to finally start welcoming customers through its doors. 

The couple lives near Goodyear with their three young children and are excited to become more integrated with the Chandler community.

Esparza said he became passionate about opening this side business after observing his own children enjoy trampoline parks back in Texas — the family’s home before relocating to Arizona a couple years ago.

This type of activity has such a great impact on the mind and body, the doctor said, so it became a goal to provide an opportunity for local families to have a similar place to play.    

“It was better than having them go to arcades or something where they wouldn’t really be engaged in any exercise,” Esparza said.

The West Valley already had a couple trampoline parks, Esparza noted, so Chandler seemed like the prime location for this type of entertainment venue.

The park’s attractions feature one of Arizona’s first digital trampoline gaming platforms. Users have the chance to play one of several video games while jumping repeatedly on a trampoline.

Big Air’s other amenities include multiple private rooms for birthday parties, snack bars, and several lounge areas.

Big Air’s one-hour passes cost $12 for children between three and six. Guests over the age of seven are charged $18. Two-hour passes cost $16 and $24 respectively.

Unlimited day passes are not available while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Big Air intends to soon launch monthly memberships. More information: bigairusa.com/chandler.

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