KENTWOOD, Mich. (Feb. 7, 2014) — Legislation for trampoline parks passed the Michigan House and Senate this week.
Sky Zone in Kentwood is taking off and soaring to new heights since its opening in November 2012.
“Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park. We have 135 trampolines,” owner Brent Breems explained.
He said he’s pushing for legislation that ensures that businesses like his educate customers on the rules and the risks of injury and provide a safely padded environment.
By doing these things, the proposed law would protect his company from lawsuits. That’s especially relevant with two new locations in the works, in Kalamazoo and Lansing.
“When we put that investment into it, we want to have some protection that says, if we’re doing our job, then the lawsuits or the opportunity for lawsuits, that process isn’t easy if its for instance a frivolous lawsuit,” Breems explained.
He said his company approached a law firm in Lansing to work with lawmakers on crafting the legislation. State Senator Dave Hildenbrand introduced the bill. It passed the House and the Senate. If the governor signs off on it, Breems doesn’t foresee many changes on Sky Zones part.
“We are already doing what we believe is the proper thing to do to one, make people aware of what they’re about to do,” Breems said.
Already, customers sign a waiver that’s good for one year. Parents and guardians sign for their kids. A ‘rules speech’ is given before a customer enters the park. Employees (called ‘monitors’) keep a watchful eye and make sure no one breaks the rules.
Breems said language in the legislation states if a trampoline park wants protection under the new law, it must be American Society for Testing Materials certified.
“ASTM is a voluntary set of regulations and standards for trampoline parks,” he explained.
Those are standards Sky Zone plans to implement. That includes installing a safety net under each trampoline and extending the padding on the deck.
Breems said lawsuits have not been an issue for his business. But it’s a preventative measure for both customers and sky zone.
He said the legislation does not make Sky Zone automatically immune to litigation.
“It does not make a trampoline park exempt if there is a maintenance issue or faulty equipment,” Breems explained.
“We want it to be fun, and it’s more fun when everybody around you is obeying the rules because then it’s a controlled environment, and it’s a lot of fun,” he said..