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Want to be a Ninja Warrior? Bounce and zip? Rock Hill business takes a leap

An American Ninja Warrior course is part of what's coming to Adventure Air Sports in Rock Hill.
An American Ninja Warrior course is part of what's coming to Adventure Air Sports in Rock Hill.

Any new business venture takes a leap. This one is going to take a whole bunch of them.

Adventure Air Sports is constructing an indoor trampoline park in Northeast Plaza on Cherry Road. It will open this summer with trampolines, foam pits, extreme dodgeball and a basketball-style dunk zone.

"This will be unique to the whole Charlotte region," said Will Whitley, founding partner with Northeast Plaza owner New South Properties.

Park features include three "super tramps," with a much higher bounce than standards trampolines, and a flying trapeze over a foam pit. A rock wall will tower atop another foam pit, as will a zip line.

"It'll have one of the first zip lines over a foam pit in the entire country," said owner Chris Brown.

Yet the biggest draw is based on the popular television show "American Ninja Warrior" -- an obstacle course to test anyone from young bouncers to trained athletes.

"There's just frankly nothing like it in Charlotte," Brown said.

New South, which bought the plaza a dozen years ago, looked to breathe new life into the center after anchor Bi-Lo relocated across the street in 2007, leaving a 45,000-square-foot hole. The developer is pumping more than $2 million in the ongoing updates, and Adventure Air is putting in $2.5 million for its part with about 60 employees.

"It's a family entertainment concept," Whitley said. "Indoor trampolines, an American Ninja Warrior course, very active entertainment."

The Air Adventure team is hopeful the trampoline birthday parties and similar outings typically taking York County residents across the state line, won't any more.

"We've had an unprecedented level of interest for a site that's only started construction, with groups looking have parties or events," said Brown, who is has another Adventure Air Sports location in Georgia. "Frankly, I've never seen this level of activity."

Trampoline parks have typically doubled in size from what they were a generation ago, said Brown, who has 20 years in the business and is based in Knoxville, Tenn. he Cherry Road site in particular is interesting for how close it is to I-77.

Brown said appealing to all age groups and skill levels, and being close to I-77 may help flip the table to pull North Carolina residents across the state line to come play in York County.

"We're very excited about Rock Hill," he said. "It's a great, vibrant area. We're bringing something new, different, exciting to the area."

Air Adventure will take up 33,000 square feet, leaving 12,000 square feet, Whitley said.

"We've thought about fitness since it is next to this recreation type use," Whitley said. "We've thought about a pet store. We even thought about a veterinarian. Some sort of quasi-retail uses that are more destination-oriented."

Brown said Thursday there isn't an opening date set, but June is the target.

"I'm comfortable with saying summer," Brown said.

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