Here's a couple of things you might not know: 1) Portland has a trampoline park! 2) That trampoline park is shutting down. The G6 Airpark—for those of you without kids, and aren't forced to go to trampoline parks—is a big hangar-like building with wall to wall trampolines, a dodgeball court, and a ninja-style climbing wall, located at 10414 SE Washington. But after years of doing business, G6 is closing its doors for a number of reasons, but according to owner Wesley Dameron in a press release, the primary causes are a minimum wage increase, frivolous lawsuits, and "Millennial parents." Read the entire thing here, but here are some choice selections:
With only having trampolines, G6 Airpark in its current incarnation just isn’t worth the time investment any more, and I think you’d be interested to know why.
Firstly, when we’re dealing with mandates such as minimum wage increases to $15/h it hurts a small business. —and as Seattle has discovered, it’s actually having a negative impact on the workers it’s supposed to help. And “sick leave”... which is being paid to part-time high school students with no experience and no skill set. I’m at a loss...
Next, when parents sign a waiver and clearly understand that their kid is jumping on a trampoline, but hold our facility responsible when their child breaks a leg, it’s a blow to our organization. It’s a massive time sink for me personally, it’s stressful, my wife stresses out, and it’s expensive. We live in a part of the US where there is an extraordinary problem with parents —especially Millennial parents—not taking responsibility for their decisions or actions. In fact, this a problem across the US and is manifested by our ridiculously litigious society. If you get hurt, it’s always someone else’s fault.
It breaks my heart to see children get injured, but every circumstance in which a lawsuit or demand was brought against us, the trampolines were working as intended. It’s frustrating to live in a part of the country where the legal system and insurance companies are incentivised to default against companies that provide extreme or risky activities. You know, things that are fun.
Here's one of those lawsuits the owner is talking about, described in an Oregonian article titled, "Man breaks neck while trampolining, sues G6 Airpark for $21 million." As the story states, the man did sign a waiver, though the Oregon Supreme Court found that such blanket liability waivers are "unconscionable." Update: The man later died from his injuries.
What else did we learn from this press release? First, the world is entitled to a trampoline park where paying employees a living wage is entirely optional. Because... FUN, right? And secondly, "Millennial parents"—probably the park's biggest customer base—are not parenting to the high standards of the G6 Trampoline Park, and while the owner isn't giving specific evidence, we all know the reason why they are failing so spectacularly: AVOCADO TOAST.
I would call this the end of an era—except most of you didn't know this place existed. But if you want to give it one last jump, the G6 Airpark's last day of operation is Memorial Day, Monday May 28. Don't forget to sign your waiver!