Like many people, Andrew Rocklage has always had a lot of pride for his hometown. A native of the Boston area, he always assumed that he would remain in the area for the rest of his life. After all, it’s where he grew up, and it’s where his best friends and closest relatives are. However, Rocklage has always been realistic. When an opportunity to own a successful franchise in the state of Florida presented himself, the young man couldn’t say no. As a result, the man who grew up in the cold climate of New England now lives near perpetually warm and sunny Daytona Beach, Florida.
Plenty of northerners escape to Florida at some point or another. Many only go down to escape the winter months. These “snowbirds,” as they are called, then return north for the spring and summer. However, Andrew Rocklage did not relocate to Florida to escape cold weather. He strictly did it to seize an incredible business opportunity. Given the success that he has enjoyed since moving there, it is safe to say that he made the right choice. The only drawback for him, really, is that he is now so far away from so many people who he cares about.
Early in his career, it appeared that Andrew Rocklage would be staying put in Boston for the foreseeable future. After earning a Bachelor of Science in sports management and economics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management in 2009, he immediately proceeded to tackle law school. Indeed, the ambitious young man attended Suffolk University Law School, where he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 2013. He had already completed an internship with Major League Lacrosse for public relations, but he was more interested in working as an attorney.
After law school, Rocklage worked as a law clerk. Later, he took a position as a legal consultant. Ultimately, he was hired as corporate counsel for EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals. The work was demanding, and Rocklage excelled. Despite this, he wasn’t satisfied. He couldn’t see himself working in the legal field for the rest of his life. He knew that there had to be more for him out there. Even though some of his friends thought him foolish for squandering his law degree, he decided that he would be better off striking out on his own as an entrepreneur.
Andrew Rocklage had an opportunity to check out a local Sky Zone in the Boston area around this time. He was impressed by the facility and by the business model. As it happened, Sky Zone, which is based in L.A., operates off of a franchise model. Every one of its more than 100 locations is franchised out and independently owned. Sensing a great opportunity, Rocklage started to investigate the matter more. Ideally, of course, he would have loved to have owned a Sky Zone in his native Boston. However, the market was already at capacity, so he knew he had to seek greener pastures.
As it happened, Sky Zone had identified the Daytona Beach, Florida, area as a prime place for a new location. Although the area is a very long ways from Boston, Andrew Rocklage knew that he had to be practical. Another issue was that a competing chain of indoor trampoline parks would be opening a new location in the area soon as well. However, Rocklage was not scared away. He knew that with the city’s huge population and annual influx of more than 8 million tourists, there would be plenty of business to go around.
Andrew Rocklage opened his Sky Zone location in Daytona Beach in 2016. All told, he poured more than $1.8 million into its development. Right away, the facility was a major hit. Located as it was in an upscale retail area, it became immensely popular with parents and kids alike. While the primary market is kids and teenagers, Andrew Rocklage worked hard to attract adults to his Sky Zone too. He added Skyrobics workout classes to the schedule, and that seemed to do the trick. People finally started to see that trampolines offer more than entertainment; they offer great opportunities for physical fitness as well.
Although he wasn’t sure how he would like living in Florida at first, Andrew Rocklage quickly came to feel right at home. Thanks to the success of his Sky Zone in Daytona Beach, he almost immediately made plans to buy another location. This one is located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It is clear that Rocklage plans to keep opening new Sky Zone franchises in the Sunshine State, and it will be interesting to see how many he eventually owns and operates. He is sometimes homesick for Boston, but he goes back often to visit friends and family and to continue forging important business connections in the area.