In the bouncing business
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Sep 25, 2013, 15:48
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Mike and Dee Daughtry pose with their son, Michael Paul, inside their new indoor inflatable playground business, MP, Bounce WIth Me.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Parents know that the best way to get a kid to go to sleep is to wear them out.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Mike and Dee Daughtry. They recently opened MP, Bounce With Me, an indoor inflatable playground in the Colonial Square Shopping Center.
The business gets its name from their 7-year-old son, Michael Paul.
“Kids need entertainment. They need to get out,” he said.
Tucked between Martin’s and Peebles, the storefront is deceptively small, but the inside fans out to a much larger space.
Once inside, there is the hum of numerous air blowers and children laughing.
There are seven brightly colored inflatables with everything from slides to obstacle courses. There is also a toddler section, a lounge area with a television, and a small snack bar.
MP, Bounce With Me opened Sept. 13 but is planning an official grand opening celebration next month.
Mike Daughtry said he has been working on this idea for about three or four years.
It took a lot of time to find a good location that had the right amount of space, would get foot traffic and wasn’t too expensive, he said.
But Daughtry aims to draw customers from across the Tri-City area, saying he hopes parents will come to Colonial Heights to spend time here.
“It’s nothing for us to drive 30 minutes to go do something,” he said.
Daughtry works days at Brenco and now evenings at MP, Bounce With Me, but he has hired manager Desiree O’neal to run the business during the day. They also have about 10 part-time employees.
O’neal, who has a 13-year-old daughter of her own, said that had been difficult to find fun things to do when she was younger. She said most of the things to do were close to Richmond.
“We wanted something close by, around the corner, that didn’t cost an arm and a leg ... and kids can come and burn off some energy,” she said.
Getting all the right permits and inspections was a challenge, but Daughtry said the city was a big help and told them exactly what they needed to do.
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Michael Paul and Theresa Nicole Little play on an inflatable slide.
O’neal said there was also a bit of a problem with the height of the inflatables inside the location. The drop tile ceiling was too low, so some of the panels had to be removed to accommodate the taller ones.
“We were told when we bought them that they would fit ... but we got around it and the inspector was fine with it,” O’neal said.
She said it is just temporary until they can find a more permanent solution.
They also have plans to add more things in the future. Daughtry said couches are on their way for the lounge area and they are working on creating private party rooms.
There are plans to expand the snack bar that to offer a variety of hot food like hot dogs, nachos and pizza once the business builds a following.
MP, Bounce With Me also hosts birthday parties and they have a partnership with Dante’s Pizzeria to bring in food. People can bring in their own birthday cakes as well.
O’neal said they can even host semi-private parties in the evenings for adults that may be interested.
She said they also plan on doing fundraisers with the nearby schools because they want to help give back to the community.
MP Bounce With Me is open Monday through Friday from 11a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 9 p.m.
Kids ages 0-2 are free, 2-4 are $4 on the weekdays, $5 on the weekend, 5-18 are $8 on weekdays, $10 on weekend. There is unlimited bounce time for the day and parents are free.
MP, Bounce WIth Me is located at 3107 Boulevard, Suite 12A.
MP, Bounce With Me has an area for toddlers.
For more information, call (804) 894-8216 or visit http://mpbouncewithme.com or https://www.facebook.com/mpbounce.