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Spacious bounce house set to open

Gary B. Gray • Aug 26, 2016 at 5:33 PM

With all due respect to Johnson City’s recreation and entertainment offerings, there’s nothing comparable to the cavernous playground for the young at heart set to open here in a few weeks.

We report; you decide.

Entrepreneurs Dan and Leah Bolton are about to open their new 41,000-square-foot Quantum Leap Trampoline Sports Arena at 117 W. King St.

“We’re trying to be agile and add new things,” Dan Bolton said. “We don’t want anybody sitting around. The city has been very supportive, and the community’s really showing an interest.”

The Kingsport couple bought the former Giant Wholesale Grocery East Coast distribution center earlier this year and revamped the building into an indoor physical funhouse for all Johnson Citians, young and old.

“The upgrades have gone very well — I don’t think we’re going to have to drag anybody in,” he said.

Employees are being trained and sessions conducted with members of the community to work out the kinks. The well-worn exterior brick remains, but the interior is colorful, to say the least.

A large image of Albert Einstein — the one which captures the physicist sticking out his tongue -- is painted above the entrance to the trampoline and dodgeball section. This area includes a “battle beam” where cushioned weapons are used to knock opponents into a foam pit and a trapeze.

It’s not your run-of-the-mill recreation center.

A 25,000-square-foot section is literally wall-to-wall trampolines manufactured and installed by Georgia-based Fun Spot. About 50 fully padded trampolines are elevated three feet off the ground, as are several “runs” — 40-foot long sections similar to those used by gymnasts, but these will be trampoline material. Also, people don’t have to worry about bouncing into hard walls. Instead, angled trampolines will serve to bounce them back.

Dodgeball also is available — dodgeball played on trampolines. An adjoining space offers an arcade and giant inflatable goodies including “Obstacle Island,” a bounce house, and a large super-spongy dump truck from which people can slide from its backside.

Remember, none of the fun is age-specific.

Visitors will walk in, be greeted and directed to kiosks where they identify themselves and sign a waiver. Then it’s past the front desk over which astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous quote is painted: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Food and snacks are available on the first floor. Visitors also can keep track of their children or just enjoy the view from a second-floor mezzanine, which features comfortable couches and tables and chairs.

The Boltons closed their Leaping Lizards Family Entertainment Center in Kingsport and decided to go all in at Quantum Leap.

“It’s a destination point for people all over the region, and a large part of our decision to come here was because downtown is being developed,” said Leah Bolton. “I think we’re going to help extend downtown toward this direction. Johnson City doesn’t have a big entertainment center like this.”

There also is a 5,000-square-foot area that once was used for cold storage. The Boltons say they are considering their options for this space, which could include a stand-alone restaurant/bar.

There currently is room for 40 on-site parking spaces, and the Boltons have secured an agreement to rent another 36 spaces from an adjacent property owner, bringing the total to 94. They also plan to install bicycle racks that would equal in size about 16 parking spaces.

For information about hours, availability and news, go to www.facebook.com/quantumleaptsa or call 423-928-5327.

Email Gary Gray at [email protected]. Like Gary B. Gray on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garybgrayjcp. Follow him on Twitter @ggrayjcpress.

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