Firefighter jumps on business idea

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – After spending three days to prepare, host and clean his son’s birthday party two years ago, Daniel Owens thought there had to be a better way.
“My son’s birthday is in June, so we were setting up everything in the back yard and it’s 105 degrees,” he said. “The day before we were cutting grass, cleaning the house, getting all the party supplies. … then the day after we still were cleaning up.
“It got to the point we really didn’t get to enjoy the birthday party itself as much because it was a three-day ordeal.”
So, the Tupelo firefighter thought, why not open a place where parents could throw parties for kids, who in turn could run around and have some fun?
Daniel and his wife, Ashley, came across the former Go building on McCullough Boulevard. They then filled the facility with giant inflatable slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses and opened Jump Tupelo.
“We thought since kids always are jumping around on them, ‘Jump’ was a good name,” Daniel Owens said.
Since then, they’ve also added several arcade games. There also is a rock wall.
Jump is open daily from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for “open play,” in which anyone can come in and run, jump, slide and flip on the inflatables and play games.
An 18-foot-tall slide, an obstacle course and a ship are among the air-filled inflatables inside Jump.
Owens said the plan is to swap them out occasionally for newer ones to “keep it fresh.”
Admission is $6 per child, with no time limit.
Birthday parties can be scheduled for any time before, during or after the open play hours.
“For parties, we’ll set everything up, and all customers have to do is bring the kids, the cake and the ice cream,” Owens said. “We take care of the rest.”
Birthday party reservations for 1 1/2 or two hours start at $160, depending on the size of the group. The entire facility can also be rented.
“We have a wide range of options to choose from,” said Owens. “It’s best to call and we can figure out what works best.”
Because everything is indoors, it’s also an ideal place for day cares, home school kids, field trips and other group events, he said.
Last week, for example, Leigh Cruse brought her three children and three others to play for a while at Jump.
“We’ve been here before, and it’s the only place to come when it’s raining and cold and or the kids to get physical,” she said.
Owens said adults can stick around to keep an eye on their kids, or they can sit back and relax and let his staff take charge.
“They’re in a safe and secure environment,” he said.
In addition, Owens said dads who fear they might get bored will appreciate the flat-screen television in the lobby, where they can sit while the kids run around.
“We’re not Chuck E. Cheese’s – nothing against them – and we don’t serve any food,” he said. “But this is a place where kids and burn off energy, especially when it’s cold or wet or hot. It’s climate-controlled, so you never have to worry about the weather.”

Jump Tupelo
Location: 1715 McCullough Blvd.

Hours: Daily open play from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; birthday parties can be scheduled for any hour

Phone: (662) 844-4990

Website: www.jumptupelo.com

Facebook: jumptupelo