“I’ve always had aspirations of owning a children’s entertainment venue,” Wilson said. “I started looking at different businesses for sale, and ... I found the previous owners of Pump it Up looking to sell.”
He said for about two weeks the prior owner trained him on what he needed to know to be the owner and operator of the business. Simultaneously, he underwent virtual training provided by Pump It Up headquarters, which is in Arizona.
Wilson said his children inspired him.
“My oldest daughter, when she was 7 years old, told me she was so bored and was asking, ‘What can we do?’” Wilson said. “It’s a passion of mine to make sure there is something available for my kids to do that is positive and gives them a safe outlet to play.”
Speaking to the safety element of private parties held at Pump It Up, Wilson explained when children arrive for a party, they travel in a group between the two arenas and party room. They do not share a space with other parties. This is a key selling point for parents.
“There won’t be random kids going into your party,” Wilson said. “You only have the people you invite wherever your party is at the time.”
Guests can focus on having fun, Wilson said. “Kids enjoy all the different attractions, like the glow-in-the-dark parties and the bubbles, going up and down the slides, playing the different games,” Wilson said. “What I see most when they’re walking out the door is they‘re asking, ‘Can we stay?’ ‘Can we come back?’”
Wilson said on day one his favorite thing was being an owner; however, on day two and going forward, his opinion shifted.
“There is nothing like seeing the excitement on the faces of the birthday boys and girls before the party starts,” he said. “[Then] seeing those faces when they leave, ... they are filled with joy and excitement from the experience they just had.”