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Posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Xtreme Bounce Zone tries new ways to pump up business

By Angela Smith

Children's playtime business Xtreme Bounce Zone is rolling out some new strategies to attract young bouncers and during the wintry months and reverse a slide in sales.


Dean Wainwright, owner of Xtreme Bounce Zone, greets bouncers at a preschool open session.

Angela Smith | For

Owner Dean Wainwright says he’s hoping to attract the preschool set to the newly offered open bounce sessions that began this month. The sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and cost $5 per preschool aged child.

Wainwright recently made other upgrades to the business, located at 82 Aprill Drive in Ann Arbor. The lobby area gained new faux leather couches and seating areas earlier this year that Wainwright says have been popular with parents, who are also offered free coffee and WiFi as their children bounce.

“Business is down about 10 percent from last year this time,” Wainwright said. He is hoping that the new open sessions, combined with a direct mail campaign, will provide the boost the business needs.

Wainwright says he does not advertise.

“It has never worked well for us," he said, "we use the Internet and direct mail or word of mouth to get new customers.”

Manager Candice Wiesner said that business dips during the winter.

“In the summer, open hours are what drive most of our business, however fall, winter and spring all bring in mostly parties.”

Xtreme Bounce Zone offers birthday party packages beginning at $200, and in peak season can book 13 to 15 parties in a weekend. But the business is still not a great profit maker for Wainwright. He opened Xtreme Bounce Zone seven years ago, sharing space with his karate school, A2 Martial Arts.

Wainwright, a 6th-Degree Black Belt in both Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, opened A2 Martial Arts as the Dexter School of Martial Arts in 2001. He moved both businesses to the current location several years ago.

Xtreme Bounce Zone houses six large inflatables, including a 52-foot obstacle course, and an 18-foot giant slide, which Wainwright says he replaces about every year.

“We are happy with the space but do not like the location,” Wainwright said. Parents who attended the first week’s open bounce hours told him that the space, hidden behind a KIA dealership and next to Planet Rock, was difficult to find.

“It may be hard to find us but it is worth the effort!” Wainwright said. But he is already thinking ahead to other strategies that could improve business, like a move to a more visible location. “We are hoping to move to Jackson Road in the next few years.”



Sun, Sep 1, 2013 : 4 p.m.

We were shocked by deplorable safety standards here, and the staff's cavalier attitude towards safety issues we pointed out (high school kids all above 6' and 180 lbs jumping over the walls and into these things while small children were inside). This place is a tragic accident waiting to happen--take a look at the Google comments before considering it and go there expecting to supervise your child--and everyone else's--at all times. They won't. From one of the articles below: • Having one child play at a time is the safest, but that's not very realistic (or much fun), so only have children of similar age and size play inside these bouncers at one time. • Horseplay, flips and somersaults should be prohibited; that kind of play leads to the most dangerous injuries. • Always have an adult present when these devices are in use -- but not inside with the children. Adults (parents and/or bounce center operators) should be in a position to observe and intervene if children are engaging in horseplay or doing flips and somersaults.


Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 5:10 a.m.

Nice Ad.


Tue, Jan 29, 2013 : 4:04 a.m.

We took our toddler there a couple weeks ago and she loved it. We liked the toddler time because it means there aren't a bunch of bigger kids running around and pushing the smaller ones out of the way. I do see the needs being discussed in other comments though. Hopefully the business will see these comments and reconsider their open play hours. I also like the idea of doing some kind of different party packages with different prices. I know they seem to feel that advertising doesn't work for them (although whatever advertising they ever did, I never saw it so maybe it just wasn't reaching the right people), but maybe they could try advertising to some schools. Maybe this would be a great option for class reward parties or maybe just getting some fliers out to the families, maybe offering some coupons for the schools to give as rewards for good behavior or something. Another idea for the parties is to have some party options that are not for private use of the facility. For example, have some times set aside for higher priced private parties, but also offer some kind of party or group price that is available during open play times. Then there could be open times maybe on weekends in the am and then maybe after 5pm or something. Really are they being filled with parties on the weekends? I kind of doubt it but who knows.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

How many people are home from 10am -1 pm?... Just like what was stated above, weekends are about the only time kindergarten aged kids can go.. and why not have different priced parties.. maybe a lower price for fewer kids.. and did you know that if you have a party all parents need to be present, a child can't bounce unless parent is there. thats what we were told when we called for our kindergarten aged grandson.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

I can understand not liking the location. Parking is an absolute nightmare when the place is somewhat busy.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

In response to EMUgrad's post: I understand the model of closing for private parties on the weekends, but you mention of flexible hours reminded me of Saturday's story regarding the Pink Pump's Ann Arbor location closing as there were a number of individuals who mentioned they did not shop there as the store had inconvenient hours. What I'm wondering is: Is there a demand for extended hours that small business are not meeting? I understand the struggle as a retail store of only a couple employees to be open say, 9am-9pm like a typical store in a mall is; however, if there are a large number of shoppers out there who will only shop in the evening then they are being cut-off. Personally I do all my shopping is done in the evenings which means I cannot shop at a number of local stores and instead make those same purchases online.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

I have a young niece visiting this weekend, and I hoped to take her there on Saturday. I looked at the website yesterday and was disappointed to see that there were no open hours on the weekends. I understand parties are important for revenue, but this is the only time I could see using it.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

They are closed to the public for private parties on the weekends, which is the only time I'm able to take my son. If there were more flexible hours for working parents to take their children there, we'd be more frequent customers. My son loved it there.


Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 12:29 p.m.

Lose "Xtreme" from the name. That word could be lost from the English language and noone would miss it. Adding it to your product is usually seen as a desperate cry for help. They even did a Simpsons episode about it. Remember what happened to Poochie.