Indoor skydiving may descend into Alpharetta.
Austin, Texas-based iFLY Indoor Skydiving has filed plans with the city to build a new entertainment facility near Mansell Road and GA-400. If approved the facility would replace the empty restaurant building that was previously home to Champps Americana.
iFLY offers guests the chance to experience the thrill of freefall without the risk of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Following a brief training session, fliers are outfitted in a jumpsuit, helmet and goggles before entering the wind tunnel with their certified instructor. First-time flyers float on the column of air and learn basic flying skills like moving forward and back and turning. With additional training, flyers can progress to group flying and advanced aerial gymnastic maneuvers to further enjoy the sport of indoor skydiving.
The facility will target multiple demographics including corporate team building events and families seeking unique entertainment options. Children as young as three years old can participate. Other iFLY locations offer STEM educational programs, something that could certainly grow wings in technology-centric Alpharetta.
iFLY’s proposed location would complement a soaring array of unique entertainment options along Alpharetta’s Mansell Road corridor. TopGolf targets a similar corporate clientele. The Alpharetta Family Skate Center/The Cooler is next door as is Main Event with bowling and laser tag.
The project continues another trend of demolishing and re-purposing restaurants along nearby North Point Parkway. Champps Americana closed about three years and the space mothballed. But at over 10,000 square feet, the building is almost unmarketable as a restaurant thanks to today’s smaller style of eatery. It will meet the same wrecking ball fate that befell TGI Friday’s a few months ago. Bahama Breeze’s former digs are not far behind and will be replaced with a furniture store.
But iFLY can’t take off right away. They will have to go through the paces of a rezoning in order to change a master plan. But from a 30,000 foot view it doesn’t seem likely they will face much headwind. Alpharetta shouldn’t pop the chute on the opportunity to host one of Georgia’s first indoor skydiving facilities. However the city may want to push back on building ascetics as some iFLY locations tend to resemble NASA buildings.
Do you think iFLY will make a big landing in Alpharetta? Are there any other skydiving metaphors we missed in this article? Leave a comment!