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Knoxville’s Phoenix theater firm also developing trampoline parks
By Ed Marcum of the Knoxville News Sentinel
March 24, 2016
Knoxville-based Phoenix Theatres Entertainment has been making its mark as a manager of movie theaters across the country, but a turn of events has prompted it to expand into the trampoline park market.
The company has formed the privately held Phoenix Trampoline Fun Centers LLC and announced it will build an indoor trampoline park in Leesburg, Va. The 16,000-square-foot Atomic Trampoline Fun Center is slated to open in June at the Village at Leesburg regional outdoor center.
Phil Zacheretti, Phoenix president and CEO, said this enterprise evolved from the company’s experiences managing movie theaters. Phoenix manages 97 screens at 10 locations in eight states.
“In the past, we have managed theaters with arcades, and that just goes along with the family related experience of a movie theater,” he said.
In 2015, Phoenix Theatres was managing a 22-screen theater in North Versailles, Pa.,near Pittsburgh, when the owners decided to reduce the venue to 18 screens.
“They had four empty screens and didn’t know what to do with them, so the owner decided to clear them out and build a trampoline park,” Zacheretti said. “We convinced them that we were the ones to manage it.”
However, Phoenix had never managed a trampoline park.
“We convinced them that we could learn,” Zacheretti said.
The empty space was developed into the Altimate Air Trampoline Center, which opened in June.
“As we saw how we were capable of managing it and saw the revenues coming in, we started looking for other opportunities,” Zacheretti said.
Trampoline parks are one of the hottest trends across the country, he said. In February, Franchise Update Media, which analyzes the franchise industry, identified trampoline parks as a booming opportunity, with around 300 parks now, compared with about 40 just three years ago. The appeal ranges from 2-year-olds just having fun jumping to 60-year-olds taking trampoline aerobics classes.
Phoenix is developing its own freestanding trampoline facility at the Village at Leesburg. Zacheretti described the locale as similar to Knoxville’s Turkey Creek development.
“We didn’t seek out involvement in trampoline parks, but when you manage an entertainment business, it can be all sorts of entertainment,” he said.
Phoenix does not have any trampoline park prospects in the Knoxville area, but Zacheretti said it is always looking for opportunities.