BubKat Bounce! opened its (bounce house) doors in early June. Greg Hays and his partners wanted to find a unique and kid-friendly business plan. Submitted photo.
Clifton Park Greg Hays was responsible for setting up battlefield communication systems for troops when he served in Iraq. Now, he’s no longer concerned with signals bouncing around, but rather keeping kids bouncing.
“I decided that when I got back, I wanted to do something fun,” said Hays.
So Hays, along with his wife Ruth and friends Craig and Amanda Allen, opened BubKat Bounce! at 1021 Ballston Lake Road in Clifton Park. They’ve been open since early June and held their formal grand opening on Friday, June 29.
“BubKat” is a combination of all of their children’s names.
The place is part bounce house, part obstacle course and is included in Players Park, which provides miniature golf and a concession stand(also run by Hays), among other attractions for children ranging from toddlers to teens.
There’s something for the adults too, in a nine-hole par three golf course.
Hays and his wife had always worked with kids and in fact, had met while both were camp counselors at a wildlife sanctuary in Yorktown. They moved to Albany in the late ‘90s for a few years to explore college options and wound up loving the area.
They returned to the Capital Region in 2006 after Hays finished his military service. He could have moved “basically anywhere on the Army’s dime” and chose Upstate New York.
“We had always been bouncing around ideas — no pun intended — on what we could do to start a family business, more kid oriented and more fun,” said Hays who was earning an MBA from Saint Rose while deciding on what business venture to embark on.
Debbie Pernat of Sloansville and her 7-year-old daughter have found their way to BubKat more than once.
“They are friendly, family oriented, and safety conscious. They have great food and they have the best treats in the area, like pops and cupcakes. Right after work today we are heading to their ribbon cutting event at Player's Park,” said Pernat on Friday, June 21.