A veteran of corporate America, Mike Lapp says he always liked the interactive games and team-building exercises that his company would organize for employees. His new venture invites businesses and individuals to engage in teambuilding on a really grand scale. Lapp is co-owner of the new Stapleton Urban Air franchise that opened mid-June.
Urban Air includes more than your standard fare of trampolines and dodgeball, though you will find “Pro Zone” performance trampolines here as well as basic trampolines. A Warrior Course mimics the type of challenge you might see on an episode of American Ninja Warriors. The Battle Beam pits you against a friend or neighbor on a balance beam, with each player attempting to knock the other off the beam and into the pit of foam cubes. Arguably the central attraction is the Sky Rider Coaster, a sort of zip line that allows you to fly through the interior about 30 feet above the crowd, while harnessed by your back. Bumper cars, a ropes course, climbing walls, a tubes playground, as well as soft play areas and trampolines with designated toddler-only spaces offer something for everyone.
For adults who prefer to sit on the sidelines, Urban Air includes comfortable couches, massage chairs, and a variety of local beers and wines. Once you’ve had a grown-up beverage, however, don’t expect to get on the Sky Rider Coaster or another ride, as drinking and riding are verboten. A café includes path-of-least-resistance kid fare like pizza and chicken fingers; more sophisticated options including sandwiches and local coffee will soon be added to the menu. Lapp is in conversation with corporate headquarters about offering healthier local foods, either as specials or regular menu items.
Urban Air’s maximum occupancy is 699, and Lapp says. “Our goal is not to have limitations on time. We’d like to let people play as long as they like, and we’d never limit admission.” Manager Todd Vander Weit will adjust staffing based on the number of visitors to Urban Air, with safety the top priority, according to Lapp. Lapp hired 91 employees to staff the massive space and ensure that they can always call in additional staff as needed.
“I’m one of the few serious-looking grownups here,” he says. “We hired a lot of high school kids, and we have a great team…some of the 14-year-olds are our best workers: they take a lot of ownership and really engage with customers.”
Recognizing that for many of his employees this is their first job, Lapp arranged with Key Bank (which provided financing in the form of a Small Business Administration loan), to offer a financial seminar for staff. Key Bank will share a general discussion on personal finance and offer guidance on how to manage funds and expenses.
Entrepreneur magazine named Urban Air among the top new franchises in the U.S. in 2019, and Lapp is opening a second one in Texas as soon as that construction is completed. He shares a commitment to the community, though, and has deep roots in Denver. He and his wife owned the Village Cork restaurant downtown for 15 years, and he is committed to doing fundraisers and events to benefit nonprofits moving forward. “We absolutely want to be giving back to the community,” he says.
Urban Air offers both day passes and memberships, with prices starting at $7.99/month for just the trampolines and increasing as one adds attractions. Height restrictions apply to several rides. Urban Air is located at 9550 East 40th Ave., between Central Park Blvd. and Havana. Detailed pricing options, waivers, and other information can be found at: https://www.urbanairtrampolinepark.com/locations/colorado/stapleton