Graham Kilmer

Bounce Milwaukee Will Close

Southside entertainment venue closing at end of August; owners cite rent increase.

By - Jul 6th, 2023 05:22 pm
August 6, 2021 press conference at Bounce Milwaukee. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

August 6, 2021 press conference at Bounce Milwaukee. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Bounce Milwaukee, a family-friendly entertainment venue on Milwaukee’s South Side will close its doors at the end of August.

The owners, Becky Cooper-Clancy and her husband Ryan Clancy, a Milwaukee County Supervisor and State Representative, shared the news on the Bounce Milwaukee Facebook page Wednesday that Aug. 31 would be the final day of business for the venue at 2801 S. 5th Ct.

“We invite our guests to come play and create more memories with us before we say goodbye, and encourage them to show our brilliant employees appreciation for their hospitality and spirit,” they said. “We have been moved and honored to be part of Milwaukee’s celebrations for almost a decade and hope to have been a part of warm memories for your families. Thank you for nine amazing years.”

The post said that the owner of the building, Central Asset Management, LLC, raised the rent by 50% and sought to increase the business’s deposit on the property from $2,600 to $200,000. The firm’s principal, Michael Goetz, could not be reached for comment. The Bounce Milwaukee space is part of a larger 38,400-square-foot building occupied by industrial tenants.

Bounce Milwaukee opened roughly nine years ago. The business offered arcade machines, laser tag, rock climbing, an inflatable obstacle course and many other entertainment attractions. But it also operated a restaurant and bar, making it a venue that the whole family truly could enjoy.

“Yes, we wanted to create a space for families, friends, and colleagues to bond through play,” the owners said. “But more than that, we wanted to create a community within our community.” They said in the post Wednesday that they sought to “build a business that placed our city, our workers, and our future at the forefront of our decision making.”

In 2021, Cooper and Clancy invited Milwaukee Area Service and Hospitality Workers Organization, the labor union representing workers at Fiserv Forum, to organize Bounce Milwaukee. “We’ve wanted to unionize for years,” Cooper said at the time. “And the pandemic gave us the time and the opportunity to do things right.”

“Above all, we have tried to demonstrate that running a business honoring workers with fair pay, great benefits, and supportive management is the most powerful business model possible,” they said Wednesday.

Clancy and Cooper are deeply involved in Milwaukee-area politics and they opened their doors at Bounce Milwaukee for local political organizations and social justice groups to plan and organize.

With the increase in rent, it was no longer “reasonable nor tenable” to stay open, the owners said, adding, “nor is it fiscally or logistically possible to move such a large and unique business at this stage.”

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Categories: Business

6 thoughts on “Bounce Milwaukee Will Close”

  1. Ryan Cotic says:

    So they unionized less than 2 years ago and now they are closing? Is this just a coincidence?

  2. Duane says:

    So applying the same logic as Ryan Coattails, since unionization is virtually non existent in this country should we assume that most business failures are because of the lack of unions?

  3. says:

    Perhaps Brother Cotic misread the article. It’s about the rent, not employee compensation. Bounce will be sorely missed by My family. Many good memories. Thanks Becky and Ryan.

  4. mkwagner says:

    I wonder, does Ryan Cotic believe the greed behind a 50% increase in rent and 100 folded increase in business deposit is acceptable but paying giving employees a voice, living wages and respect is bad?

  5. bigb_andb says:

    Mr Cotic could it be the landlord didn’t like a successful union business.

  6. AttyDanAdams says:

    Sad – lots of great kid’s birthday parties were had at the venue.

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