Spartan Adventure Park of Fort Smith is set to open Sept. 15 in the former Movie Lounge venue on Rogers Avenue, giving area residents another option for birthday parties and family outings.
Everett Stagg, owner of Spartan Adventure Park in Monroe, La., purchased the old Movie Lounge location at 7601 Rogers Ave., as the home of the trampoline park and adventure zone. The initial investment in the new entertainment venue was $2.2 million, which includes the initial build-out, said Tona Ross, manager of the Fort Smith location. The company received on April 24 a $600,000 building permit to remodel the location.
The adventure zone will include a trampoline park, virtual reality simulators, a ninja course and a soft play area for young children. When construction is completed, the building will include five large party rooms available for rental, each with a 65-inch TV and Cox Cable, Ross said.
“Parties are a huge part of what we do along with corporate events,” Ross said, noting that parties are not limited to children’s birthdays.
Similar parks are popular for baby showers because they offer something for older children to do, team building events and various other parties, she said.
Three virtual reality simulators — MaxFlight, Storm and Dark Ride — will be front and center. On the Monroe adventure park website, MaxFlight is described as a simulator that “will twist and twirl you through the most exciting roller coasters throughout the world. If roller coasters aren’t your thing, fly through the sky with the cutting edge flight simulator that will put you in the air for a real life flying experience!” The other two simulators are unique to the Fort Smith location and not available at the Monroe park.
The ninja course will be complex, but not so much so that it will discourage beginners, Ross said, adding it will feature a warped wall and a battle beam (which is similar to jousting). Other highlights of the park are a 40-foot zip line and of course, there are the trampolines. The trampoline park will include dodgeball and basketball, a two-person competitive AeroStrike and an eight-foot interactive TrailBlazer climbing wall that features hand holes that light up for a two-person competitive game. Because trampolines are covered with a glow-in-the-dark material, black night events will be a regular draw to the park, Ross said.
“Anyone and everyone can come and have a really good time,” she said.
To complete the experience, there will be snacks. The snack bar will include the typical chips, candy and drinks along with 14-inch pepperoni, sausage and cheese pizzas (which will not be frozen types of pizza), traditional chicken wings, nachos and hand-dipped ice cream. Ross said she also hoped to be able to get a slushie or Icee machine.
“This is so much more than a trampoline park. There is so much more to it, especially with the VR machines,” Ross said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, safety is much on people’s minds as fun, and Ross said she and the rest of her four-member management team will do everything needed to keep employees and customers safe from the virus and accidents. Rather than using foam blocks to fill the pits in the attractions, Spartan Adventure Park will use airbags. Though they required a larger initial investment, the airbags are safer and more cost-effective in the long run with air pressure gauges that notify employees if the bags are not at the optimum pressure, Ross said. She will have an app on her phone that will notify her if pressure in any of the bags is too high or too low.
The airbags also allow for more thorough cleaning, she said, noting that the park will have a cleaning team continuously cleaning and sanitizing all the equipment during the day and staff will conduct a deep cleaning of the facility after closing and prior to opening each day. All hard surfaces will be covered in foam padding to limit injuries and employees will act as monitors on all the attractions.
Social distancing measures also will be in place for as long needed including limiting the number of trampolines open and limiting the number of people on attractions, Ross said.
“I really want to stress that we will provide the safest, cleanest environment. I want people to know that the health and safety of their children and loved ones is just as important to me as to them,” she said.
The adventure park will have a staff of four full-time management team members and 40 part-time employees who will make up the kitchen and cleaning staff and court monitors.
Though a grand-opening is set for Sept. 15, Ross said if everything is completed earlier, they will open sooner. Package prices, which will include parties and public jump time, and hours of operations have not been set yet, but Ross said prices will be competitive with similar attractions in the area and Northwest Arkansas.