Built to bounce

Ronnie and Ryan Thomas

Photo by Josh Cozine

Brothers Ronnie and Ryan Thomas are big believers in having healthy, family fun, and say they have always been entrepreneurs at heart—often talking as kids about going into business together. After years of both managing different establishments, Ryan (left), along with another friend and partner, Terry Smith, started Rare Air Trampoline Park in Redding in 2015. The business took off. Ronnie, who lived in Chico, thought it would be a perfect addition here as well, and started looking for a large enough space to house the facility, eventually zeroing in on the building at 1090 E. 20th St., which used to house Off the Wall Soccer. They opened for business Thanksgiving weekend. Inside, guests will find over 10,000 square feet of trampolines, which are sectioned into themed zones for different types of play—like the slam-dunk courts where patrons can bounce to the top of the basketball hoop or the dodgeball courts with foam balls. Arcade games and refreshments can also be found on the grounds. Call 433-5557 or visit www.rareairpark.com for more info.

What’s the reception been like?

Ronnie: Great so far. This community was really lacking for something fun like this for families to do. We’re starting to get booked out for the weekends months in advance.

How many customers can you support at once?

Ronnie: We can take up to 150 on the trampolines as a max, but we keep it around 130 to make sure we don’t reach that.

Anything people should know before they bounce?

Ronnie: Before anyone can step foot onto the trampolines, you have to fill out a safety waiver or a parent or legal guardian if under 18.

Ryan: The waiver goes over basically anything that can potentially happen out there, so people can educate themselves on what could happen. We also have a list of rules to follow and guidelines set forth by the International Association of Trampoline Parks.

Is it dangerous?

Ronnie: There’ve been no injuries at the Chico park so far, other than one guy who rolled his ankle a bit but was fine.

Ryan: We keep a 15-to-1 ratio of jumpers to employees to make sure the rules are followed. Most of the injuries at the Redding park have to do with excited dads thinking they’re young men again when they get on the trampolines.

Is there an age limit?

Ronnie: We have our toddler zone for children 42 inches and under.

Ryan: We kinda have a saying, “If you can walk, you can jump,” but we generally leave it up to the parents, as well as having a separate space for 2- to 4-year-olds, and allow mom and dad to go out with them. We also do “toddler time” on Fridays and Saturdays where we open the whole park just to 6-year-olds and younger.