Everyone will have the opportunity to be a stunt man if one local entrepreneur gets his new business up and running.
South Shore photographer Kurtis Rix hopes to transform the site of the former Tahoe Amusement Park, where the Upper Truckee River crosses Lake Tahoe Boulevard, into a place where extreme athletes can practice high-flying stunts or the average joe can catch a cheap thrill.
Slacklines, rope bridges, volleyball, horseshoes, a full eatery, a beer and wine garden, bike rentals and kayak rentals are all among the ideas Rix hopes to incorporate into the 4-acre site he has dubbed FunBags Adventure Park.
The centerpiece of the park is a large AcroBag air bag that provides a safe landing for the spins and flips enjoyed by skiers and snowboarders, BMX riders and anyone else with a taste for adrenaline.
“Basically, it’s just a place where the local athletes have a place to improve their sports skills,” Rix said Friday. He also sees it as a place where visitors can bring their families for a unique vacation experience.
“Extreme sports can train and families can play in the same facility,” Rix said.
Rix displayed one set up for the air bag at last year’s Wanderlust Festival at Squaw Valley. He said people ages 5 to 75 jumped off a scaffolding set-up into the air bag at the event. Everyone had a good time, he said.
“People said, ‘man, this is a fun bag,’ and that’s where the name came from,” Rix said.
Rix, who has lived at the South Shore for the past 11 years, began leasing the property in October and hoped to have the adventure park up and running this winter. He has faced regulatory challenges in getting the park started. The biggest hurdle right now is raising money for the necessary insurance for the site, Rix said.
The photographer has invested thousands of dollars of his own money into the business. He has also launched a fundraising effort on website indiegogo.com, where he’s hoping to raise $25,000 by July 4. He said he plans to have at least some of the features of the park, including the air bag, open for the holiday weekend.
Although pricing has not been finalized, Rix said he expects to have single-use prices, day rates and season passes. He said he intends to keep the park affordable to make it attractive to South Shore residents. He expects some of the site to be free to use for activities like picnicking or Frisbee in the summer. During the winter, Rix hopes to have a small, medium and large terrain park for skiers and snowboarders.
With a prime piece of real estate at his disposal, Rix sees plenty of other recreational possibilities for the former amusement park site and is open to suggestions.
“I just thought it would be really cool to bring it back to life,” Rix said.