A Bristol woman recently purchased a business that rents bounce houses, dunk tanks, carnival games, and inflatable boxing and jousting sets for parties and other functions.
Jen York purchased Sandcastle Entertainment from its owner of 20 years, John Polhemus, in August. Before she purchased the business, York had extensive experience with Sandcastle Entertainment, then based in Whitefield, as a Damariscotta Pumpkinfest volunteer responsible for the kids activities.
When Polhemus said early last year that he was going to sell the business, York started to think about buying it. She accompanied Polhemus to a few events to learn more about what running the business would entail.
“I honestly never envisioned I’d do something like this,” York said. “It’s a fun business! Everyone’s always happy to see you when you show up.”
In addition to purchasing the business and the inventory, York also took over existing appointments. York said the business has traveled as far as Rumford, Searsport, Portland, and Augusta.
“I’m really trying to drum up some business down here, because there isn’t another company like this around here,” York said.
While Sandcastle Entertainment has a wide variety of bounce houses, it also offers inflatable slides and games for rent, as well as carnival games and dunk tanks. For a flat rate, customers can rent any of Sandcastle Entertainment’s offerings for the entire day.
Sandcastle Entertainment will deliver, set up, and pick up any rentals, York said. The business charges for delivery to events beyond a few nearby towns.
Throughout her time owning the business, York said she has brought rentals to church events, school fundraisers, birthday parties, and company celebrations. Once, a family rented a bounce house for a funeral as way to keep the children occupied.
“You never really know what you’re going to show up to,” York said.
Sandcastle Entertainment activities and rentals can be enjoyed by people of any age, York said. There are some safety requirements that need to be followed, such as limiting the number of people in an inflatable at one time and restricting adults and children from bouncing together. The inflatables cannot be set up in high winds or while it’s raining.
York said the business only offers rentals for indoor events during the winter. She expects business to pick up for outdoor events in the spring, summer, and fall.
In order to ensure availability of dates and rentals, York recommends contacting Sandcastle Entertainment soon after an event is scheduled.
In addition to running Sandcastle Entertainment and volunteering at Pumpkinfest, York works as the office manager at Stepping Stones Mental Health and Counseling Inc. in Newcastle.
For more information about Sandcastle Entertainment, go to sandcastlebounce.com or find Sandcastle Entertainment on Facebook.