by Christine Graf
Sky Zone Trampoline Park, currently under construction at Clifton Park Center, is scheduled to open in August. It will occupy 23,000 square feet of mall space, situated between Regal Cinemas and Boscov’s.
Owner Rusty Saunders is investing $1.5 million in the new facility.
Saunders owns several other businesses including R.S. Masonry in Fort Edward, Action Equipment and Supply in Glens Falls and Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Queensbury.
He became interested in opening a Sky Zone franchise after taking his daughter to one of the company’s trampoline parks in Florida.
“We had so much fun, and I thought, ‘Boy, this would be great for Clifton Park,’” he said. “I called the franchise and found out that territory was already taken. About a year-and-a-half later, they asked me if I would be interested in the Glens Falls market.”
Saunders opened his first Sky Zone in 2016 at 235 Corinth Road in Queensbury. He owns the property and the building and invested a total of $2.9 million in the facility.
In 2018, Saunders was contacted by Colleen Fitzgerald who at that time owned nine Sky Zones, including one in Albany. She offered him the opportunity to purchase the Albany territory, which includes Clifton Park.
Saunders was interested in the territory but not in the existing location. The Albany Sky Zone was closed after he purchased the franchise in September. He planned to purchase property and construct a new building to house his trampoline park in Clifton Park.
“Don Greene (owner of DCG Development) had a great piece of property that I would have loved to build one on, but he really wanted me in the Clifton Park Center,” said Saunders. “That’s the way a lot of the malls are going. They want entertainment to get people in.”
Saunders agreed to lease space at the mall but said demolition moved more slowly than anticipated.
Saunders hired Bast Hatfield to oversee general construction, but he is present at the job site almost every day.
“I’m very involved in the construction—that’s my background. I’m there making sure everything is the way I want it,” he said. “All of the demo is pretty much done. The party rooms, kitchen, and bathrooms are in the framing process.”
Saunders is not involved in day-to-day operation at Sky Zone in Queensbury. Instead, he relies on a general manager and operations manager. Once the new location opens in Clifton Park, these managers will oversee both facilities. Each location will have their own assistant managers.
“I have a lot of faith in them,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with good people.”
Saunders expects to hire approximately 80 people in Clifton Park. The majority will be part-time.
Saunders described his Sky Zones as “very community and fundraising oriented” and said they will offer many opportunities for clubs and sports team to raise money.
“We’re very open to working with organizations,” he said. “That works out well for both of us.”
For more information, visit www.skyzone.com/cliftonpark.
by Christine Graf