Are you thinking of getting an inflatable obstacle course to set up in your backyard? Or maybe you’re considering starting your own inflatable business, either to rent it out or to take it to carnivals and fairs yourself?
Then you’re going to want to know how much they cost. Because they aren’t cheap…
Let’s take a look at the average cost of an inflatable obstacle course, what determines how much they are, and whether they could make you a profit if you did want to start your own business.
How Much Do Inflatable Obstacle Courses Cost?
There’s no set cost for an inflatable obstacle course – it depends on the size and number of features involved. The smallest – suitable for backyards – may cost around $500. Commercial-grade ones cost from $2,000 to $20,000+ depending on their size and obstacles.
That’s if you buy them brand new, anyway. You might be able to find used inflatable obstacle courses cheaper – they’re often sold at a heavy discount since they aren’t exactly in huge demand.
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30-Foot Indoor Inflatable Obstacle Course
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Why Are Inflatable Obstacle Courses Expensive?
Inflatable obstacle courses cost a lot due to their size, complexity, and their commercial-grade materials. You can buy cheaper ones for your backyard but larger ones must be manufactured to high standards to avoid public liability.
As harsh as it sounds, any inflatable obstacle course you buy for home use might not last you long at all. The ones that cost $500 will be mass-produced and made from thinner materials – you need to be really careful where you use them as any sharp stones could puncture them.
But proper, professionally-made inflatable obstacle courses are made from a much thicker PVC material and are built to last. Their seams are reinforced too, since these inflatables are put under a huge amount of stress, bending in all sorts of directions under a lot of weight.
They have to be well-made – they’re often rented out and so could be someone’s whole business. Plus you can’t risk injury to the public due to a poorly-made product.
Then there’s the size to consider. A 24-foot inflatable obstacle course will cost you somewhere around the $2,000 mark, maybe a bit more if you’ve got complex obstacles. But the larger you go, the more it’ll cost.
When you start getting into giant territory – around 200 feet long or more – that’s when you start to hit 5 figures. So you can imagine how much the world’s biggest inflatable obstacle course must have cost.
But here’s the primary reason most inflatable obstacle courses cost so much – they’re custom-made.
Manufacturers can hardly afford to make these courses in bulk and then hope to sell them. Instead, they’re made to order, which instantly increases the cost since the manufacturers can’t necessarily get discounts on the materials they need to make them by ordering large quantities.
However, while this does drive costs up, it also means that when you do buy an inflatable obstacle course, you can usually get one that is designed right to your specifications. And if you are on a budget, the seller should be able to work with you and come up with something that’s suitable.
The Profit Potential Of Inflatable Obstacle Courses
Buying an inflatable obstacle course to start your own business can be very profitable – although there are no guarantees. You have to work hard and be quite smart in how you go about it, but there’s definitely good money to be made.
You could choose to open up a dedicated location where your inflatable obstacle course is fixed in place, but most people find that renting out their obstacle course is the better option – it opens you up to more business, and all you need is a suitably-sized van to be able to transport it.
From kids’ birthday parties to corporate team-building events, there are all kinds of events where you could rent out your inflatable obstacle course once you own it.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent An Inflatable Obstacle Course?
Renting an inflatable obstacle course will likely cost around $500 for a day, although bigger courses from 100 foot+ often cost a lot more, starting at around $1,000 per day. This usually includes the services of the inflatable owner to supervise its use.
So if you are the owner of an inflatable obstacle course, you could probably recoup the costs of buying one in around 5 rentals if it’s a smaller one that’s cost $2,000 to $2,500, or around 20 rentals if you’ve bought a $20,000 epic.
There might be more demand for the larger one though since it’s more impressive, especially at larger events where you don’t want huge queues – longer assault courses can have more people on them at once.
But you have to remember that you’ll need to stay with your inflatable too, so factor in a day’s wages for yourself.
You’ll also need liability insurance, which could cost you up to $2,000 per year – so you will need to rent out your inflatable a few more times in order to break even if you want to cover that.
Inflatable obstacle courses are quite expensive if you buy a good-quality one. But a $2,500 inflatable obstacle course made to commercial standards that lasts you 10 years is much better value than a $500 consumer one that punctures after six months.
And it is definitely possible to use one for a profitable business – but remember to factor in your own wages, transportation costs, and insurance when budgeting. But if you don’t already have a popular inflatables business local to you, why not set one up?