An Altitude indoor trampoline park is coming to the former Sports Authority anchor store at the Pueblo Mall.
The park also will feature an indoor zip line — an attraction offered only at select Altitude parks — and a climbing wall.
Opening date is tentatively set for Sept. 1.
"It's a really exciting project; a great family thing," mall General Manager Tim Schweitzer told The Pueblo Chieftain on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, a plan is in place for the future of the Sears anchor store space, he said.
Mall owner Centennial Real Estate is bidding to acquire the 118,000-square-foot space from Sears, he said. If a deal is reached, the mall plans to redevelop the space, possibly into two or three separate retail spaces. Several retailers are showing strong interest, he said.
"We've been proactive on working on design on how to restructure the (Sears) building with adding these new tenants," he said.
Schweitzer, the mall's manager since 2001, said the mall remains in a desirable position compared with some others. Retailers continue to show strong interest in setting up shop at the Pueblo Center, drawn by its enduring popularity and the regional retail market, he said.
Schweitzer also credits the investment into the mall by Centennial, which funded a major refurbishment of the property after taking over in the early 2000s and continues to invest in upkeep and modernizing stores.
"We are fortunate we've got good owners that were willing to put money into here," he said.
Additionally, the mall is an ideal size for the Pueblo regional market, he said. "The mall's not overbuilt in the market, which is huge for us. And the mall does well dollar per square foot and that attracts all of these other tenants," he said.
The mall anticipates quickly filling the space of another store set to close due to a national bankruptcy, Samuels Jeweler, likely with another jewelry store, he said. The recent announcement that bankrupt retailer Charlotte Russe would extend its store closures to the one in the mall was unexpected, but he's confidant of filling that space as well, he said.
Scweitzer said he was disappointed but not surprised by the pending closure of Sears due to its parent company's financial woes.
"It's really sad to see an iconic department store like that close. It's similar to when we had Montgomery Ward in here and all of the sudden they closed. ... Pueblo is a Sears town. It's going to be sad," he said.
Altitude trampoline parks offer public sessions, exercise classes to include toddler sessions, birthday parties and group events, among other activities. The trampoline offerings go beyond regular public jumping options to include specialized activities such as competitions, jumping basketball and dodge ball.
The company, founded in 2012 and based in Southlake, Texas, currently operates about 50 of the parks in 28 states and several parks in other countries. It recently unveiled plans to expand into Colorado with a site in Denver. Pueblo will be its second site in the state.
The park will fill all of the now-vacant former Sports Authority store's 37,500 square feet of space.
Preliminary renovation work began this month with the major work set to begin soon and continue through summer.
The construction will include raising the roof over the former Sports Authority store by 4-6 feet.
"It's a huge project. We're raising the roof because we need more height, so the construction part of it is a little more lengthy than a normal move-in," Schweitzer said.
The park will offer entrances from the mall and outside.
The project is a win for both the mall and the Pueblo area, Schweitzer said.
"Big spaces are hard to lease. They're not that many users out there," he said. "It fills a hole we had with the entertainment part. We've really been trying to get some kind of entertainment here for the last couple of years."
Unlike some smaller indoor trampoline parks, "they have more activities. This is a really good one," he said. "We're really pleased that they selected Pueblo. They saw the market and saw a need for it in this market. I think they're going to do great."
The park adds to the mall's mix of family recreational and entertainment activities that include a Planet Fitness fitness center, an indoor putt-putt course and an indoor playground. The fitness center, which occupies the space right next to where Altitude will go, continues to report strong membership, Schwietzer said.