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Indoor skydiving flies into NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque’s newest family-friendly attraction is an “adventure park” featuring everything from a five-story children’s play area to the first indoor skydiving facility in New Mexico.

After hosting a Friday soft opening for first responders, veterans and other VIPs, Albuquerque’s first Urban Air Adventure Park is slated to open its doors to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday off Pan American Freeway NE, directly south of Main Event Albuquerque on the east side of Interstate 25.

Urban Air flight instructor Brianna Felt shows off her moves in the wind tunnel at the Urban Air Adventure Park on Thursday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Jackie Hoegger, founder of Hoegger Communications, which represents Urban Air, said the Albuquerque adventure park will be the Texas-based company’s 100th location across North America and Europe.

However, it is just the third to offer indoor skydiving, allowing customers to float and flip in a vertical wind tunnel inside a glass cylinder. Thomas Garcia, president of the Albuquerque Urban Air franchise and a native New Mexican, said he spent extra money to make sure that the first park in the Land of Enchantment stood out from the crowd.

“I wanted the New Mexico park to be the best park we could possibly put in,” Garcia said.

Miranda Richard falls into a sea of plastic balls after falling off the Warrior Obstacle Course at the Urban Air Adventure Park on Thursday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The cost of a ticket to Urban Air ranges from $15.99 for access to just the trampolines, to $39.99 for access to all of Urban Air’s facilities, including skydiving.

People just looking to go skydiving can pay $29.99 for two one-minute rides. Garcia added that the facility offers discounts for young kids and parents.

Garcia, who also manages the Urban Air franchise in Littleton, Colorado, with his nephew, Brian, said the pair have been working to develop a New Mexico location for more than two years. Hoegger said Albuquerque made sense for Urban Air, noting that the city has a relative shortage of family-friendly activities despite having plenty of young families.

“It hit all the right buttons for us,” she said.

Garcia said they looked all over the metro area, but chose to build at 3930 Pan American Freeway NE, because of the location’s visibility and easy access to all parts of the city.

“Whether you’re in Rio Rancho, you’re in the Heights, you’re in the Valley, it doesn’t matter,” Garcia said. “You can get here in 20 minutes.”

All told, Garcia said the facility cost around $10 million to build. He added that they didn’t seek any state or local funding to assist in the construction.

Diego Valencia, left, and Dennis Sandoval try out the Battle Beam at the Urban Air Adventure Park on Thursday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

The 38,000-square-foot facility has a wide array of events, including six 28-foot climbing walls, an elaborate collection of nylon trampolines and a zip line than extends around the entirety of the building. Garcia described the massive padded playground as a “McDonald’s play area on steroids.” However, Garcia added that he expects the indoor skydiving facility to be the main event.

Indoor skydiving simulates the experience of jumping from an airplane by letting customers jump in a vertical cylinder with a massive fan at its base. At Urban Air, the fan blows air at speeds that approach 150 miles per hour, creating the experience of floating on air without the hassle – and without the stomach drop – of traditional skydiving.

“You’re flying without wings,” Garcia said of the experience.

Customers are outfitted with gear and accompanied in the cylinder by an instructor. Many of the amenities, including trampoline-based games like “DropZone” and “Wipeout,” are designed with kids and their families in mind. However, Garcia said he thinks adding the skydiving will expand the appeal to include everyone from college kids to octogenarians.

“It’s a big deal for New Mexico, and I’m so glad to be able to bring it,” he said.

For a full list of prices, visit

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