The 27-foot ceilings at 825 Greenbrier Circle sealed the deal for Case Lawrence, owner and developer of Cloud9, an "extreme" trampoline park opening in July.
Over the next few months, Lawrence will configure the building with more than 10,000 square feet of wall-to-wall trampolines and -- don't worry, Mom -- plenty of padding.
"The old, rusty backyard trampoline has been the bane of pediatric doctors for years," Lawrence said. "In our environment, it's actually much safer. Everything is padded. There is nowhere to fall off."
Lawrence needed a building with high ceilings because punching bags and kick bags hang about 13 to 15 feet above the trampolines. He said he signed a five-year lease with the owners.
The site will feature a trampoline dodgeball stadium, a foam pit and an "aerial ninja obstacle course" that includes challenges like those seen in the ABC-TV series "Wipeout," Lawrence said.
On weekend nights, laser lights and disc jockeys will transform the park into Club9.
High school students and young adults are Lawrence's target demographic, but the facility also will host aerobics classes, family nights and jumping sessions for children.
Hourly fees for jumping will range from $6 to $11. Full-time employees will include a manager and a birthday party coordinator, and there will be about 25 part-time employees who wield whistles and enforce the rules.
The Chesapeake park will be Lawrence's eighth. He has three more in the works.
Each is set up as a limited liability company with a pool of investors, but Lawrence, who recently moved to Park City, Utah, from central California, is the majority owner.
Trampoline parks began popping up about three years ago, and the industry is expanding quickly, Lawrence said.
So far, he has competition in only two of the cities where he owns trampoline parks: Fresno, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M.
"I feel an urgency to grow while these markets are available, while we can," Lawrence said. Within a couple years, all of the cities with more than a million people "will have one of these, and at that point, the game will change."
Lawrence said he chose Hampton Roads because its residents -- and particularly the members of the military -- embrace extreme fitness and recreation.