Might as well jump at Buttermilk
Sean Dunlap has seen a lot in his 24 years.The owner of a bungee-trampoline company once helped strap in an 86-year-old woman in Grand Junction and send her a couple of stories into the air.When he took the setup to Leadville, strong jumpers went higher than the town’s structures. So it is, then, theoretically possible to leap a tall building in a single bound.Sunday at Buttermilk, he nearly saw one of his employees, performing graceful flips during a demonstration, land on his dog, Cutter, who had jumped onto the trampoline.”He likes to jump,” Dunlap said, scooping up the mutt.As high as people get when they’re strapped in – 32 feet is the max, Dunlap said – the EuroBungy Colorado operation has flown mostly under the public radar at Buttermilk. An Aspen Skiing Co. concierge did not know about the bungee-trampoline option and had to ask around to confirm it was there. EuroBungy Colorado has been at the base of Buttermilk for three years, Dunlap said.He has an agreement with the Skico to offer those bored with snowsports four- to five-minute jumping sessions. For $10, people can soar as high as possible or perform flips and double flips, backward and forward.The operation, which had been limited to weekends, will soon be open Wednesdays through Sundays. In the summer, Dunlap has a site atop Aspen Mountain.All that jumping is exercise, as tourists often find out on top of the mountain at 11,200 feet.”They do a couple of good power jumps and they’re ready to come down,” Dunlap said.Much of the thrill, no doubt, is soaring as high as a three-story building, but he said it is “way safer” than a typical backyard trampoline.”We use multiple bungee cords to ensure safety,” he said. “We regulate your height. We’ll set it up to [your] weight.”The employees, such as Noah Williams, who demonstrated Sunday, also watch participants’ feet to see how deeply into the trampoline they’re going.Williams and the other jump specialists teach people the finer points of flipping in midair.”We pride ourselves in actually working with each individual to give them the best jump that we can,” he said. “We work with them like a personal trainer would.”At one point, Williams effortlessly descended until his nose was suspended just above the trampoline. It’s not always so elegant. The setup at Buttermilk involves four trampolines, and when all four are in use, it can get a bit chaotic.”With four strong jumpers at one time, it’s gets pretty crazy,” Dunlap said.A graduate of Elizabeth High School, on the Front Range southeast of Denver, Dunlap said he saw a bungee-trampoline operation at an event in Denver. Soon after, he started his company, which now operates at sites around the state, such as the Taste of Colorado in Denver.He acknowledged that “you always want to be cautious anytime trampolines are involved.” Obtaining liability insurance can be a problem, but EuroBungy Colorado has a good track record, he said.”We never had really anything happen,” Dunlap said. The employees know “their P’s and their Q’s,” and they routinely inspect the bungee cords. “We’re on our game,” he said.Dunlap has understandably had his fill of jumping. He said he did enough aerial maneuvers in the company’s first two years.”Now it’s like eating peanut butter for breakfast every morning,” he said.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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