Bridges Invests to Expand Sky Zone Franchise
Bridges Fund Management is proud to announce a new partnership with Jump City Holdings, LLC (“Jump City”) and its founder and CEO Stella Downie, through the latest investment made by the Bridges U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund, LP.
Jump City is one of the largest franchisees of Sky Zone trampoline parks, operating five locations in the New England region, including the first franchised location in the Sky Zone system. Sky Zone LLC is the leading franchisor in the indoor trampoline and entertainment space and part of the largest indoor active recreation and trampoline park company in the world, Circus Trix Holdings, LLC. Each of the Jump City locations provides a safe, healthy and fun recreational atmosphere for children, families and individuals at accessible price points. Ms. Downie, an innovative entrepreneur and award-winning operator within the growing experiential and recreation market, is retaining a meaningful ownership stake and will continue to lead the planned expansion of the business.
Bridges in the U.S. and UK has an extensive track record of successfully investing in companies that support healthy living such as the fitness concepts The Gym Group, Impact Fitness and Viva Gym. In Jump City, Bridges’ U.S. team identified a thriving growth business that supports physical activities to address childhood obesity and provide affordable, inclusive recreation for families – with a market-leading reputation for safety, quality and stellar customer service. In addition, the business also serves as an engine of economic development: the centers are sited in underutilized industrial parks or retail shopping centers with high vacancies, often in low-to-moderate income communities.
As important to the Bridges team is the operating philosophy of the executives that lead the companies in which Bridges invests. Ms. Downie has not only led her operations with a commitment to quality customer service; she is also dedicated to the development of her employees, many of whom are young people from the communities where the centers are located who are looking to develop key professional skills and chart a career path for advancement both within the franchise and beyond. Through its diligence, conducted in partnership with the Good Jobs Institute, Bridges found that there are few early career opportunities that provide the systematic and organized training and skill development provided by Stella and the team at Jump City.
Stella Downie, Jump City’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “I am excited to work with Bridges to expand the Jump City platform. They understand the commitment to quality and our local communities. They embraced how we hire and train employees and how seriously we take safety and customer service. We are proud to be the first franchisee in Sky Zone network to attract private equity backing and believe the team at Bridges can provide both financing and strategic expertise to fulfill our expansion goals.”
Elizabeth Burgess, a Partner at Bridges U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund commented: “Bridges seeks to invest in ethical and passionate entrepreneurs who support their communities through healthy, sustainable business operations. Stella and her team are best-in-class operators that exemplify the type of leadership and business practices that we look to support and grow. We look forward to expanding an approach to business that not only provides a fun, safe and healthy form of entertainment but provides needed economic development and quality jobs in the regions where we operate and plan to expand.”
The investment in Jump City represents Bridges’ fifth investment in its current fund and its second investment in 2019. BellMark Partners represented Jump City as its exclusive financial advisor.
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