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PhreeZone

iFly coming to San Diego (3 tunnels planned)

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http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/nov/06/ifly-skydive-indoor-attraction/

A $10 million indoor skydiving attraction is coming to Mission Valley next summer, minus the thrill and danger of parachuting from a plane.

iFly Indoor Skydiving of Austin, Texas, announced the project Thursday, complete with a jetpack-outfitted flyer who showed what the sensation of flying on a pillar of air looks like. Only in the new project, visitors will float on a pillar of air inside a see-through, 48-foot wind tunnel.

It will be iFly's 35th such facility with another planned about six months later at the Westfield Carlsbad shopping center. A third such facility, previously announced by another company, is coming to downtown's East Village.

"There are a lot of people who are drawn to this sort of thing," said iFly CEO Alan Metni, a former professional skydiver. "That is because as we go around the world, from city to city, we find that almost everybody at some point in their lives has dreamt about flying. And we have the unique ability, and frankly, the privilege, of being able to deliver that to everybody."

Work has begun on iFly San Diego at a three-acre site at the southeast corner of Qualcomm Way and Camino del Rio North, just north of Interstate 8.

Developed by Sudberry Properties in partnership with the Grant family, a longtime valley property owner, the $45 million Discovery Place development also will include a Springfield Suites hotel of about 135 rooms and a Starbucks cafe. The site is just south of the 17-acre San Diego River Trail and Discovery Center on land donated by the Grants and being developed by the San Diego River Park Foundation.

Sudberry CEO Colton Sudberry said brokers brought iFly to his attention and a deal was struck to lease the site from Sudberry and the Grants.

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the valley, said at a ceremonial groundbreaking that the project exemplifies the new projects and improvements coming to Mission Valley and the city in general.

"Once upon a time I used throw myself out of airplanes and this is a much safer alternative," Sherman said. He was talking about his teenage years of skydiving under the tutelage of his father, who served in the army's 101st Airborne Division about 30 years ago.

Sudberry's son Beau, 7, also was on hand and looked forward to iFly's completion: "I think it would be cool how you'd get to float in the air."
photo iFly customers float on a column of air as a trained staff member guides newcomers how to maneuver in the wind tunnel. As many a dozen experienced skydivers can crowd into the chamber and work out joint maneuvers that they might carry out in a real skydiving event. — iFly Indoor Skydiving

iFly has built wind-tunnel skydiving facilities in a dozen countries, from Canada to Russia to Singapore, and has 14 under construction with 12 more planned next year. The Carlsbad facility will resemble smaller iFly installations at other shopping centers, pending negotiations with Westfield, Metni said.

Indoor skydiving is not a fad, he said, but a growing sport enjoyed by everyone from toddlers to seniors. The median age of flyers is 13, reflective of its popularity for birthday parties.

"It's exactly the same (as skydiving from a plane) without the big sudden stop at the end," Metni said.
ompany spokesman Stuart Wallock said the three-floor, 70-foot-high facility will consist of a 48-foot-high wind tunnel, 14 feet in diameter, capable of handling 12 people every 30 minutes. The building also will contain an observation deck, conference rooms and a party room for birthdays and group events. The staff will number about three dozen.

Guests, who will pay a projected $70 for the experience, get to "fly" on a 4-foot or more column of air for two one-minute periods, simulating the experience of skydiving out of an airplane.

Family and group packages will be available as will banks of time for people serious about perfecting their skydiving techniques, Wallock said. Hours of operation are expected to run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m. up to midnight or later on weekends.

"The sport of skydiving is like any other sort, like skiiing or tennis -- a little bit of practice and you can get pretty good," Wallock said.

iFly's nearest facility currently is a 10-foot wind tunnel at the Universal Hollywood CityWalk shopping center in Los Angeles. It also operates a wind tunnel attraction in Union City in San Francisco's East Bay and built but does not operate Skydive Perris in Riverside County.

Another company, Airborne America, has announced plans for a similar project in downtown San Diego's East Village that's projected to open about a year from now.

Its promoter, Buzz Fink of Skydive San Diego, said he hopes to start site work in December and be ready to compete head to head with iFly.

"The tunnel we have is a lot more cost effective and I think the location is a lot better," he said.
Yesterday is history
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I doubt it at least at the iFly locations. The prices seem to be pretty uniform at all the new iFly's around the country - benefit of being the only game in town right now. Buzz's tunnel might shake some stuff up and same with the tunnel in AZ being close to iFly's but until there is another tunnel company that puts one up near all the existing iFly's I wouldn't expect the prices to drop any time soon.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

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Right, iFly is riding on their monopoly crap.

As a consumer, we need McDonalds and Burger King right across the street.

If one is having a 99 cent deal, I'm taking that 99 cent deal.

Is Buzz's tunnel going to be German design? If all prices are equal than I'm going to the one with more uniform/smoother air flow.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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Buzz's is not an ISG design from what I have put together but an all new design.

AZ is getting the ISG tunnel. I've heard that plans are in the works to have the ISG tunnels pop up in multiple locations once they get the ball rolling and have one operational.
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base698

What size is it?


All tunnels currently being planned to be built are 14' as far as I've heard. FlightShop in AZ is 14' ISG, Buzz's tunnel(s) in SD are 14' using some other design that someone told me but I've since forgotten (sorry). iFly seems to have moved up plans for SD because of Buzz's tunnel.

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danielcroft

***What size is it?


All tunnels currently being planned to be built are 14' as far as I've heard. FlightShop in AZ is 14' ISG, Buzz's tunnel(s) in SD are 14' using some other design that someone told me but I've since forgotten (sorry). iFly seems to have moved up plans for SD because of Buzz's tunnel.


Not true. The tunnel they are planning in San Antonio is a 12 footer.

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I drove by it a couple of weeks ago, building is up but doesn't look like they're super close since they don't have walls yet. Probably a few more months at least, especially since they don't have as much build-out experience as iFly. Obviously as a totally new design, they're also likely to have some build issues wrt that. Not saying they're not professional or anything like that, just making an observation.

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I must say I disagree with the "minus the thrill" part of this post in the 1st sentence.

Flying in a wind tunnel is the thrill of a lifetime every time. hARD TO UNDERSTAND ANYONE CLAIMING OTHERWISE BUT MAYBE i AM JUST EASILY THRILLED. :)

Tunnel flying may have evolved from skydiving but is fast becoming independent of it as a serious sport of it's own.

But as stated tunnel flying has everything a freefall from an aircraft has except the lethal dangers.

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Ifly San Diego is up and running. I drove down and flew Saturday. The smooth air is unbelievable. My standard is IflyHOLLYwood, so there's no comparison. San Diego's a bit far of a drive for me. I can't wait until Ontario comes on line. It's supposed to happen in March.
Janna

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The "new" (not AZ (old, old), Seattle (old) or, Montreal (old)) 14' designs all have a dead layer just above the net to varying heights. I haven't flown in Austin but, apparently that's the largest, like 3ft or something like that. iFly have been working to resolve this issue in each revision to the "new" design and, there have been several. My feeling from Dallas and Naperville was that the dead layer of air is quite noticeable but predictable in where it starts so, you just fly above that "line".

In Yonkers it's difficult to tell where the dead layer starts because the transition from not good to good is indistinct. I found myself flying into the slightly softer air and not realizing in time to power up. This is certainly something you'd learn by flying in the tunnel more regularly but, it's a thing. San Diego has soft air as well but, I didn't notice as much of a dead layer, if any at all. It's definitely the best so far.

For both Yonkers and San Diego, the air doesn't diffuse, however so, you can tag the turning veins without any effort at all. I'm not a fan (no pun intended) of that characteristic since it will mean people will need to actually be careful. It also means that light people will have more trouble with layouts and the like because there's no "softer" air up top.

Cliff Notes™: San Diego is awesome, Yonkers is awesome but will require more tunnel specific familiarization.

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Thanks for the detailed comparison Daniel!

I've flown in Yonkers a few times now and definitely noticed the dead zone. The lack of a diffuser is in some ways even more noticeable.

Looking forward to trying San Diego or similar designs. I wonder which version will be in Philly.

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I think it's way more common to have injuries on the tunnel than on Skydiving. At least for me, statistically, I have accumulated way more minor/medium injuries and collisions flying dynamic on the tunnel than on Skydiving. Although, I also agree it would be pretty hard to have a death inside the tunnel.

Both are a lot of a fun, but for the tunnel to get closer to be as fun as skydiving it requires a much higher level of flying. If I were asked to only do one for the rest of my life, I would choose to keep skydiving in less than a second.

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