PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A popular inflatable play center based in Bangor saw so much business from a recently held event in Presque Isle that they have announced plans to create a permanent center here by September.
The Maine Jump, a family entertainment center for children 12 years of age and younger, is working to finalize a licensing agreement with a Presque Isle family to establish the second center, Ryan Hatch, president and co-owner of the Bangor facility, said Thursday.
The Maine Jump features among other attractions giant interactive inflatable bounce houses, slides, obstacle courses, interactive games, arcade games and a full-service kitchen with dining area.
The decision to locate a facility in Aroostook came after Hatch brought 15 pieces of equipment from the Bangor location up to The Forum in Presque Isle on May 11-12.
“We saw tremendous turnout that weekend,” he said. “We had a huge crowd from The County and from Canada, even though it was Mother’s Day weekend and we also heard that there was a dance recital that was attracting some 400 children. Everyone had a great time.”
The event drew 4,000 people over the two days, he said, including 1,500 children.
Hatch is working with the Presque Isle family, who will purchase the licensing agreement and run the facility. He could not disclose any additional details about the buyer or possible location.
“I think, if all goes well, they will be up and running by September,” he said. “I will not be operationally involved, but the Presque Isle facility will be identical to the Bangor one. The food will even be the same, right down to the cheese on the pizza.”
Hatch said that last month’s event in Presque Isle injected money into the economy, as he brought 13 employees with him who stayed at a Caribou hotel and ate at local restaurants. Visitors from towns and cities around Presque Isle and in Canada also purchased food, gasoline and other goods.
Hatch said that he employs 30 people at the Maine Jump in Bangor, but he is not sure how many people the Presque Isle facility will employ. He estimated that it would be between 10 and 15 employees. In concert with that, the Presque Isle family has expressed interest in hosting special nights just for teenagers.
“I’m very excited,” Hatch said. “I believe this is going to inject a lot of money into the local economy and it definitely will add jobs.”