Sponsored by Troy Gymnastics
By Maureen McDonald
Photography by Jerry Zolynsky
Children and young adults tumble, climb, slide and dance with exuberance at Troy Gymnastics during parties and classes throughout the year. Owner Toby Buechner hopes to attract more bat mitzvah and bar mitzvah parties to his 82,000-square-foot fun emporium.
Troy Gymnastics hosted more than 540 parties in 2018 and expects to see that number rise this year after the installation of a $1 million indoor ropes course that stands 13 feet off the ground, surrounded by foam pits, trampolines and padded flooring.
“With the constant flux in Michigan weather, it is great to have an indoor party and an indoor ropes course. We are one of the only indoor courses in Michigan,” says Buechner, a former auto engineer who started the gym 13 years ago with his wife, Julie.
The course is designed in segments for easier, intermediate and advanced users clothed in a body harness. Four ziplines and three rock walls help ease the transition from one element to another. Participants wear click-it harnesses to keep safe. Two belay lines let them down gently.
During the week, children from ages 1 and up can participate in up to 300 structured classes from day care, to group and individual exercise coaching to Olympic training. On weekends the facility is open to parties for groups of 20 people starting at $320. Troy Gymnastics provides paper plates, napkins and plastic tableware and provides names of five restaurants that give discounts upon delivery to the gym.
Each party comes with two coaches, set-up, clean-up and organization. Young guests can play for 75 minutes and enjoy a feast in the party room overlooking the gym for another 45 minutes. No alcohol is allowed, thus saving the parental anxiety of young adults descending on the champagne fountain at the banquet hall. Instead they have enough activities to let off steam for weeks to come.
“Our mission is to put kids first in a safe and fun, family-friendly environment,” Buechner says. He and his wife hosted an all-night party for seniors at Birmingham Seaholm along with parent supervisors at Troy Gymnastics. His oldest daughter was one of the attendees. He said everyone had a blast.
Among the offerings are a 42” by 42” spring-up dance floor. Some customers have employed Star Trax, an entertainment company, to coordinate a dance party. As teens spread out, they find trampolines, balance beams, 100-foot track courses and foam pits. Participants have great fun sinking into the 7-foot deep pit of foam.
The owners can arrange for glow nights with flashing LED lights to add to excitement.
Inground trampolines are padded on all sides for safety. Students will find tumble tracks, spring floor and more for amusement. Parents can watch from an elevated viewing area, which doubles as party rooms. On a recent day, a group of toddlers walk, flop and squeal with delight in the foam pit made of blue-colored rectangles.
“We love what we do — helping kids get fit and stay active,” Buechner says. His family was driving home from a tennis meet when his wife, Julie, suggested they open a gym where kids could play all year round. The timing was excellent, he recalls. Several schools had downsized their gym programs. In fact, he bought gym equipment from Berkley High School.
The need was even greater for exercise as parents battle the youthful obsession with video games and other sedentary pursuits. Exercise keeps the mind and body fit, says Buechner, a lifelong weekend athlete. Julie is a tennis enthusiast and so are their three daughters.
Just to make sure they meet all needs, wi-fi access is available on the second floor where people watch the gymnasts. On the floor it is all action.
“This is all about fun,” Buechner says. “We can accommodate children with special needs, budding Olympians and everyone else. For parties, we ask that gym use be restricted to those ages 23 and under. Use of the indoor ropes course is for those between 60 and 275 pounds. Who wouldn’t want to stretch their limits in a safe space?”
For information, call (248) 816-8496 or visit Troy Gymnastics on Facebook or TroyGymnastics.com on the web.