Indoor fun park coming to Chatham

·3 min read

There's a new reason to jump for joy in Chatham-Kent.

A state-of-the-art trampoline park is coming to Chatham and officials couldn't be happier.

Located in the former YA call centre on Richmond Street, the Flying Squirrel Sports facility not only features trampolines, it includes a rock-climbing wall, an arcade, a zipline, slides, a restaurant and space for special events such as birthday and dance parties.

"It's going to be nearly an acre of fun," said Don Tetrault, of the Tatro Group of Companies, at the official announcement May 1.

"I'm excited to see the joy this facility will bring to the children, teenagers, young adults and caregivers in our community," Tetrault said of what will be a 43,000 sq-foot facility.

"We've researched this, we've been looking to do this for about a year now," he added. "Flying Squirrel was one of the best to partner up with.”

Mayor Darrin Canniff was all smiles at the announcement, noting the park is his "first reveal" in his month-long bid during May to accentuate positivity in Chatham-Kent. He'll be unveiling something new about the municipality every business day.

"This is music to my ears," Canniff told the gathering. "As we all know our community has really been looking for a facility like this. I've talked to people who drive to Windsor and London, leaving the community, because there's no facility like this.

"This is going to be a huge operation," the mayor added. "It's going to be attracting people from all over."

Canniff said Chatham-Kent's "steep incline" in growth means there's a distinct need for more family-orientated activities in the community.

"The investment by Flying Squirrel and Tatro Group is an exciting development for the future of C-K,” Canniff said, noting it will be a place to make memories.

Another unique aspect of the project is a partnership with the Chatham-Kent Children's Treatment Centre, which will see the creation of a calming high-tech sensory room – the first of its kind for the Flying Squirrel Group.

"This really adds to this whole tech piece," Canniff agreed, adding it will allow all people of all abilities to enjoy the space.

Renovations are ramping up, with September as the target to open the doors to the public. Creating the 30-foot ceilings, revamping the heating and cooling system, and ongoing redesign are some of the items on the construction agenda.

Plus, said Tetrault, there's room to expand the Flying Squirrel footprint if the need is there.

Bringing the trampoline park to Chatham is a boon for the municipality, he added.

"Chatham was not on their radar, they had bigger and better places to go," Tetrault said, noting the mayor and economic development personnel worked hard to attract the business to Chatham.

According to Jarryd Poole, Tatro Group controller, the new indoor park will create around eight new full-time jobs and between 35 to 40 part-time jobs.

Tetrault said the Flying Squirrel features the latest in safety and technology and will be the more innovative site of the company's 10 Canadian locations. Owners Cody and Luke Schueler have developed their own unique design of shock absorbers in its trampoline system – rated by insurance companies as the safest in the business.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice