The newly opened Urban Air Adventure Park on Ballenger Creek Drive is meant to be an attraction for all ages: a giant playground that kids and adults alike can enjoy. From the climbing walls to the trampolines, there is something for everyone, said general manager Deb Spalding.
The new Frederick location of the larger Urban Air franchise is locally owned by Sal Azad and Siham Bensalah. Each location of the franchise is unique, and Frederick has the longest sky ride, which is similar to a zipline, in the franchise.
Spalding came on as the general manager only two weeks ago. She said the process of getting the location open has been stressful but rewarding.
“I have a team of staff who have learned quickly, and they are conscientious and great,” Spalding said.
Spalding was the recreation superintendent at the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department for 10 years. While she admires all of the programming the parks and rec department offers residents of the county, she also believes Frederick needs a special attraction like Urban Air.
There’s more than one trampoline attraction in the space, too. In addition to zones specifically meant for flipping, there are also trampolines with ball and foam pits attached and a dodgeball course made entirely out of trampolines. Other activities include bumper cars, an obstacle course over a pit of clear plastic balls and a laser tag arena. A cafe serves food, as well.
“The lights, the colors, the light shows, the paint, everything is fun,” Spalding said. “And I really think that contributes to the adult having [a] good time here, too.”
Adhering to county and state COVID-19 guidelines, Urban Air’s capacity is limited to 25 percent, or 170 people. Spalding said the staff is also working to make sure that only one family or unit is using each attraction at one time, so people do not need to be overly concerned about sharing a space with people they do not know. The staff also checks the temperatures of all attendees when they arrive.
People participating in activities must wear Urban Air socks, which are available at the location for $2.99 a pair. They can be reused, Spalding said. In addition to having grippy bottoms, they allow the staff to differentiate between attendees with season passes and day passes.
While a pandemic is not an ideal time to open an indoor recreation center, Urban Air has already seen a wide range of clientele in its first few days open. Spalding said attendees have been respectful of COVID-19 regulations and are thankful for the precautions the staff have put in place.
“I think that if we can open and stay viable through this, it’s only gonna skyrocket in the future,” Spalding said. “And so far we have the support.”