Former Acrobats Bring Fun To Lake Mary
BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
LAKE MARY - A crowd gathered around the entrance to the 25,000 square foot building. Anticipation built as Lake Mary Mayor David J. Mealor cut a giant red ribbon, signifying the grand opening of Lake Mary’s first indoor amusement park, Planet Obstacle.
“It’s an opportunity for young people to do things that when they are my age are harder to do,” joked Mayor Mealor as he welcomed the new amusement park to his city.
With a mission to help people achieve their health goals in a way that is exciting and exhilarating while creating memories and having fun, Andrei Roublev and Yuri Maiorov retired from their careers as acrobatic performers and created their dream park.
Born in Moscow, Russia Roublev has always had a passion for all things revolving acrobatics. At the age of 5 he started attending the Gymnastic Sports School of Olympic Reserve #1 and began training professionally in gymnastics. After years of competition, he earned the title of Master of Sport of Gymnastic and Acrobatic Tumbling. After receiving a degree from Moscow State, he performed the “Double Passage with Triple Somersault,” a move which has not been repeated since. In 1996 Andrei joined Cirque du Soleil and later became the founder of New Image Line Entertainment, Orlando Circus School, and Orlando Flying Trapeze.
“We are originally from Cirque du Soleil and Andre already had his flying trapeze school so we just made it 10 times bigger,” said Maiorov, regarding Planet Obstacle.
The acrobatic park’s second owner Yuri Maiorov was a solo artist in shows in Las Vegas, Europe, Canada, Asia, the Gershwin theatre in New York and many more. In 1995 Yuri joined the highly astounded Cirque du Soleil, and performed in the shows Alergria, La Nouba, Mystere, and Quidam. He has displayed his artistry at the Oscars and the Vancouver Apec Summit for 31 world leaders, including Bill Clinton. He has been personally requested by the Prince of Monaco to perform in the Festival International Du Cirque De Monte Carlo.
The business partners originally started thinking about what they wanted to pursue after retirement while performing the La Nouba shows in Orlando in 1998. After many years they came up with the idea for the park.
“A big inspiration is our own kids,” said Maiorov. “My son and his son will be part of the business and will help us run it.”
The family oriented facility welcomed a large crowd of guests during the July 22nd grand opening. The youthful and diverse staff was very friendly and even took part in conversing and playing around with guests, contributing to an overall great experience.
Along with an indoor café and high-spirited staff, the indoor park contains a variety of obstacles for guests to enjoy.
“We have a ninja warrior course for adult and kids, a rope course, a zip line, bumper cars, trampolines, rock climbing walls, and more!” said Maiorov.
Planet Obstacle seems to be starting on a great note, and Andrei and Yuri insist they couldn’t have done it without the help of those around them.
“Andrei and Yuri built the park from the ground up with their bare hands,” said Valerie Stephen, the park’s marketing director. “They also had a group of their friends help them, so they were very involved. When they hired me on they also hired company manager Greg and he made all the structure for the employees and I did all the marketing. Our event coordinator created all the packages herself and we also had the payroll done by our accountant and our café manager has been working on the menu. So we were all involved in creating the company.”
Despite all the help, building this ‘out of this world’ park was not easy and there were many things to consider before opening Planet Obstacles doors.
“The challenge was to make people interested and most importantly to keep them safe,” said Maiorov. “Safety is the biggest challenge and the biggest priority.”
With their training and experience in this field, Maiorov and Roublev hope to see their park continue to grow, possibly even becoming a major franchise.
“We feel proud to be part of this,” shared Maiorov. “It is fitness, it is physical, and it is fun!”
For pricing information and for other inquiries visit their official website http://planetobstacle.com