Cowabunga's earns spot on statewide family fun list via WMUR TV 9 — HOOKSETT
Cowabunga's, New Hampshire's largest inflatable fun center located in Hooksett, NH has earned a top 5 position on WMUR's 'Top Kid-Friendly Destination for Kids' list. Viewers were asked about their favorite destinations throughout New Hampshire for a list compiled last week. Top 5 includes 5) Cowabunga's, Hooksett; 4) Canobie Lake, Salem; 3) Clark's Trading Post, Lincoln; 2) Santa's Village, Jefferson; and venerable favorite Story Land, Glen tops the list.
"We're thrilled to be in such great company and that so many viewers would put us in that category" says Kelly Pearson. Kelly opened Cowabunga's with her husband back in 2011 and it has been home to more than 1000 birthday celebrations, and has experienced a surge in business since word-of-mouth has taken off. "We've got a great facility; Hooksett has been great to us, and we're thrilled to bring a family-friendly destination of this size to the community. It's been such a fun experience"
Cowabunga's has started an expansion project that would add 4,000 square feet of attraction space for new equipment. The space resides in the rear of their current facility. There are also two vacant retail spots next door to the facility that the owners have considered. "We're excited to grow and share our space with those all over New Hampshire to make the drive to Hooksett to experience our unique facility." says Kelly.
WMUR Link: Top Kid-Friendly Places in NH!
Cowabunga's Inflatable Bounce Center finds groove in Hooksett. — June 18, 2012
Cowabunga's, the inflatable bounce center located next door to the Hooksett Shaws Supermarket opened quietly last November, but even owners Kelly and Matt Pearson weren't expecting their early success. The 14,000 square foot space, the largest of it's kind in New Hampshire, was formerly an Osco Drug store. The space was gutted, coated with vibrant paint, and filled with premium inflatable slides, obstacle courses, sports games and more. Since then, Cowabunga's has hosted more than 300 private birthday parties and hosted 2,000 kids and their parents during April school vacation week for walk-in play. All, Kelly jokes, without a sign above their storefront.
"We were so excited to finally open here in Hooksett. The community has shown us that they've been looking for this type of a facility for years. We've been thrilled with the results, and have hired more staff to accommodate the increased business"said Kelly. Cowabunga's staff are called "Party Pros"and on most weekends, you can find many of them in silly hats bopping around with cakes and presents, all to keep the kids entertained. "The expression on kid's faces when they walk in is why we stay so motivated in providing an excellent experience. Everything we do is with the child in mind, from our funny hats to our music. The kids are having some really unique fun, right in their own backyard."
Cowabunga's pricing structure remains the same. Kids are $10 for an all day admission during their "open bounce". Babies (non-participating) and all adults are always free to enter and play on equipment. They also offer private birthday party celebrations at around $300 for two hours. Their snack bar features simple snacks with healthy choices for just $.75. Parents are also allowed to bring in their own food and drink; provided they meet some allergy guidelines. "We want kids to come play, and we don't want parents to feel the burden of that trip. Allowing snacks is a great way to save money. We have plenty to offer, but as a mom, I'm eager to pack a snack for the kids, too."
Cowabunga's web presence and social connections are a proverbial "Who's Who" in New Hampshire groups. 'Mommy and Me' groups, New Hampshire business networking blogs, and individuals are all connected to Cowabunga's Facebook page to read about their latest goings-on, new promotions, and silly jokes. Recently, they partnered with Couptopia, a New Hampshire (Affiliated with the Union Leader) site offering half-price vouchers to local businesses. They set a sales record on their first run, when they were new on the scene, and followed it up with a summer promotion that sold just as many. "Cowabunga's kid-friendly business has proven to be a great match for our (Couptopia's) direct-to-consumer marketing, given the large family-oriented base of our users. We've been extremely pleased with the record-breaking results and it's clear from the popularity of the Cowabunga/Couptopia promotions that they have generated a lot of excitement for families in the community and have found a market with opportunities for growth!"says Marc Sexton, co-founder of Couptopia. Kelly has maintained a local focus in running her business. They've donated many raffle prizes, sponsored Hooksett Youth Basketball, and the Hooksett Little League, and they've provided their space to several fundraisers in town. "Giving back isn't just about feeling good; it's about building a solid relationship in the community and really being their when the town needs us. We're up for anything."
Business has been so good, that Kelly and her husband plan to begin construction on a 4,000 square foot extension of their existing space to introduce some new attractions in the fall. "Our space is huge, the largest in New Hampshire, but we will grow even bigger in the fall as we begin construction that will provide a unique set of new attractions." Matt says. "Keeping fresh in this business is critical. Kids love what we've got to offer, but we're excited to continually introduce new attractions that will keep the kids wanting to come back."