Q & A with Sky Zone’s Jay Riley!

In 2018, Ropes Courses Incorporated (RCI) collaborated with major player in the trampoline industry, Sky Zone Trampoline Parks, to provide a 7 pole, 1 level Sky Trail® with accompanying Sky Rail™ for both their Sterling, Virginia, and Springfield, Virginia locations. Now close to a year after the initial installations, we decided to speak with Sky Zone partner for the aforementioned Virginia facilities to hear about his first time seeing a Sky Trail® at the IAAPA Attractions Expo and how each Sky Trail® attraction has been received by guests.


1) Did you first hear about us at IAAPA? Is that when you decided to purchase a Sky Trail®?

Yes. From every angle of the convention center I would see the massive compelling attraction. I knew I needed to implement the attraction into our offering.


2) What inspired you to consider Sky Trail® as a viable attraction for your Sky Zone facilities?

The lines at IAAPA for a demo never diminished. I could see the appeal from an operators perspective but my true inspiration came from my families first hand experience of Sky Trail at Great Wolf Lodge.


3) What was it about Sky Trail® that made you choose our attraction over other similar attractions?

I could envision the installation and operation of the attraction in our current underused circulation areas. Sky Trail essentials utilizes “air space rights” in our parks without disrupting our typical daily operations underneath.


4) What has your relationship been like working with our entire team (sales, install, services, aftermarket) ?

Across the board of the 100+ vendors I’ve worked with throughout my career I would rank RCI at the top. Very experienced and well versed in your trade. From site layout, design, initial-final engineering to delivery and installation. Hands down a professional and stress free process. All deadlines were met and even (cough, cough, shouldn’t say this) too fast at times, lol. This is why I’m a true advocate for your company and a profitable operator of your brand.


5) Can you describe the initial reaction visitors have when they see the Sky Trail®?

The massive awe inspiring Sky Trail with Sky Rail stops the guest upon entry every time. They investigate the attraction before checking in or buying time. I love it. The excitement in the facility brings a level of engagement that sets us out ahead of the competition.


6) How much is a ticket for the Sky Trail®?

We opted to include Sky Trail and the Sky Rail as an all inclusive attraction built into our gate price. By doing so we realized an 18% addition of our gate capacity.


7) What type of atmosphere does Sky Zone convey to its guests and how does the Sky Trail® fit into that atmosphere?

Each one of our locations are different but the energy conveyed is the same. Intense and inviting. Your second home where you do not need to lift a finger. We treat each guest as our extended park family and now they all have a Sky Trail in their extended backyard. Did I mention they have a Sky Rail in their extended back yard, too?!?!


8) Describe the type of guest that typically goes on the Sky Trail®. Is it mostly children, teens, adults or a mix of everyone?

The great thing with the attraction is the draw for everyone. I would classify the Sky Trail/Sky Rail as one of the most utilized attractions in our parks. Not everyone is a Trampoline participant, ninja course master or a warp wall runner but the Sky Trail draws from each demographic.


9) Tell us how you utilize the floor space underneath the Sky Trail®.

We’ve opted to install arcade arenas with massage chairs and additional seating underneath. Coincidentally the same items we would’ve installed if the Sky Trail with Sky Rail didn’t exist. Air Space in FEC’s are a highly underutilized section that we pay monthly for and found an attraction to realize additional revenue per SF without leasing additional square footage.


10) Do you commonly entertain large groups with the Sky Trail®? If so, what types of groups?

When we have groups or off hours events they have access to all attractions the facility has to offer. Sky Trail and Sky Rail is one of the first destinations for their event.


11) Approximately how many participants engaged with the Sky Trail® in the first month of operation?

I do not have a specific headcount for each location but above 85% of each gate ticket utilizes Sky Trail. Longer participation tickets of 90 minutes or longer realize the highest percentage of use of the attraction. This also comes from an excellent sales culture at the registers to educate the guest of how long the will be need to attempt all attractions for the visit.


12) How has the feedback been for either locations with regards to the attraction?

Very positive. I do believe we could benefit from better harnessing on and off throughput versus participant time in our location. With 20+ attractions in our facilities guest are challenged with attempting all activities. But that’s not all bad because they become multiple time visitors throughout the year to experience all the park has to offer.


13) Has the Sky Trail® positively benefited/impacted the other offerings at Sky Zone? (secondary sales, etc.)

I believe the courage and adrenaline from their Sky Rail experience leads each thrill seeking adventurer to attempt the Warrior Course. Longer activity tickets have increased at each location and are encourage at check-in.


14) Would you recommend integrating a Sky Trail® to other trampoline parks and why?

Most definitely. See everything above. If that doesn’t juice you up to innovate…call me!  I love talking about the industry and future growth ideas.