Between my online blog and this column, I often point out how Charleston's health and fitness community continues to grow and diversify.

But this spring brings a new wave of businesses that are more diversified and specialized.

Sky Zone

The new Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, located in the former Velocity Sports building in Mount Pleasant, features a 15,000-square-foot "wall-to-wall" trampoline that will feature "SkyRobics" fitness classes, dodgeball and open jumps, along with birthday parties and corporate team building.

"You can burn up to a 1,000 calories an hour," claims local owner Brad Sullivan. "It's no joke."

Sullivan recalls the first time he went to a Sky Zone, at the location in Suwanee, Ga., and jumped for six minutes before having to stop and rest.

Sky Zones started in Las Vegas and have since spread to 55 cities.

Sullivan expects the Sky Zone in Mount Pleasant to open March 22, with a grand opening April 12. The cost to jump for two hours will be $25 and include a pair of Sky Zone socks, with rubber grips on the soles for traction.

Wild Blue Ropes

Construction on Wild Blue Ropes, an open-air adventure ropes course on James Island's Folly Road, started last week and is set to open May 1.

Wild Blue Ropes is the passion project of Hugh Corcoran and Gary Ladd of Charleston and Ron Hite of Boca Raton, Fla. They are working with Challenge Towers, one of the premier aerial challenge course designers and builders in the U.S.

The new adventure park, featuring 66 elements, 44 poles and two levels rising to a height of 35 feet, is expected to cost a total of $1 million, according to Corcoran and Ladd. (The park is substantially larger than the one at Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission's James Island County Park.)

"From the opening of Wild Blue, we'll always be striving to provide our visitors with an unmatched opportunity to explore personal limits and beyond, all while having fun doing it," says Ladd. "However, our dedication to better business doesn't stop there; as a registered B-Corp, we've made a commitment to operating responsibly and sustainably, always giving back."

Wild Blue Ropes will be able to hold up to 135 people per hour and participants of all ages and athletic ability are welcome.

While they are still working on the price structure, the national average for admission to a ropes course is $55 for two hours.

Iron Tribe Fitness

A personal training gym, Iron Tribe Fitness, is coming to a 4,200-square-foot space that used to be the Blockbuster video store near U.S. Highway 17 and Bowman Road in Mount Pleasant on May 5.

While it seems modeled after CrossFit, with WODs (workout of the day) and touting paleo diets, owner Corky Alexander insists "we are not CrossFit" and that the group fitness classes cater to everyone. He added that the gym has a Christian faith component and will be closed on Sundays.

Alexander says he became a fan of Iron Tribe after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and gaining 30 pounds. After working out at Iron Tribe in Birmingham, Ala., many of his symptoms faded away.

To start working out at Iron Tribe, all new clients must sign up for a month-long, one-on-one training program that meets three times a week.


Orangetheory Fitness uses the science of heart rate-base interval training, using treadmills, indoor rowing and weight training to drive clients into their heart rate "orange zone" during a 60-minute workout.

Mary Ann Richardson Stisher, a longtime local trainer with an investor, is bringing the studio to South Carolina, starting with its first location in St. Andrews Shopping Center (think Coburg Cow) on Savannah Highway in June. They hope to open a total of six in the state, including possible locations in Mount Pleasant and the north area.

Dozens already are spread across the nation, notably in Florida, Arizona, California and New Jersey.

CHS Revolution

Meanwhile, a "boutique" indoor cycling studio on the ground floor of the Elan Midtown luxury apartments at Meeting and Spring streets is set to open the week of March 17.

CHS Revolution is a 40-bike, indoor cycling studio started by Nick Oram, Lindsay Rodbell and Eric Feather. The studio was set to open in January until construction crews ran into some issues with plumbing. A March 1 grand opening was postponed due to some delays in getting lighting put in place.

"We feel honored and privileged to join a city with such a strong fitness community," says Oram, in an interview conducted in January.

Reach David Quick at 937-5516.