Amy Phillips is 43 but considers herself a child at heart.
So it’s only fitting that his new job is running a business that appeals to kids – and kids at heart.
Phillips recently became president of Altitude Trampoline Parks, an Atlanta-based competitor for the likes of locally grown Urban Air adventure parks. His promotion comes after a 20-year career in family entertainment.
“It was just a natural transition and the continuation of my career to be in an environment where my daughter can also have a good time,” Phillips said, referring to her 13-year-old daughter, Kennedy.
Phillips’ experience includes leadership positions at a number of North Texas-based family entertainment companies, including Main Event, Dave & Buster’s and Drive Shack. Having only worked for male bosses, she credits her perspective as a wife and mother to her career progression.
“I think they enjoyed working with me because I can give them, maybe, a different perspective, from a woman’s perspective and from a mother’s perspective,” Phillips said. “I’ve probably had the best male mentors in family entertainment, which is pretty surprising to most.”
Phillips, who commutes between her home in Richardson and Altitude’s Atlanta headquarters, joined the company as chief marketing officer just six months before her promotion to president. It already has plans for growth – both in new places and in new ways to take advantage of food, attractions and indoor safety.
“I think we have a sweet spot being in this 3 to 10 [age range]where parents feel like it’s a safe space, and they can, depending on the layout, see their child no matter where they’re seated in the building,” Phillips said.
One of his first tasks is to work with CEO Mike Rotondo to co-lead a franchise expansion initiative to have 100 parks open by the end of the year. Rotondo previously ran Edible Arrangements, which built a network of 1,100 locations.
The drive to incentivize new and existing franchise owners resulted from the purchase of Altitude in December 2018 by NRD Capital, an Atlanta private equity group. Other NRD portfolio companies include Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Frisch’s Big Boy and several technology companies.
“I’m really excited about the team and the things that I think the brand held back during the pandemic, which also happened to be when they bought the business,” Phillips said. “It gave us time to really do some solid work, and now we’re just kicking it off.”
The altitude parks are 100% owned by franchisees and the investment required may vary $1.8 million to $3 million depending on location and layout. Franchisees pay between $30,000 and $60,000 in upfront fees.
Phillips is determined to increase these numbers for those wishing to bet on the Altitude brand.
“When you work on the franchise side, you work with any number of entrepreneurs that could make or break their lives,” she said.
There are currently 86 Altitude trampoline parks, with six in Dallas-Fort Worth and nine more in development nationwide. The company is eyeing the Northeast for expansion.
“We have parks in the northeast, they’re doing phenomenal things, because of the cold weather,” she said. “If you’re in Texas, there’s a lot of competition just outside.”
Phillips will also retain her marketing functions, where she wants to expand the in-park experience to withstand industry competition. It has entered into a partnership with the American Heart Association which will add information on heart-healthy activities at Altitude parks.
It is also focused on improving menu items and beverages, strengthening a membership program, and expanding features and attractions that keep customers coming back.
“We are moving towards technology, so we are adding more augmented reality to our parks. We’re putting different kinds of technology on the actual trampoline where you can actually play a game of Tic Tac Toe while you’re bouncing,” she said.