By SHAWN HAMMOND
Anyone looking for a unique source of fun should check out one of Utah Valley’s newest businesses aimed at making the most of leisure time.
Orem’s Extreme Competition L.L.C., 305 S. Orem Blvd., opened Sept. 1 and features such attractions as inflatable sumo wrestling, jousting, big-glove boxing, video games, air hockey, basketball, obstacle courses and over 30 more inflatable games.
Gary Murdock, owner of Extreme Competition, is an American Fork resident who ran an auto body shop for 30 years before opening his new venture.
“I think the biggest surprise I’ve found in operating Extreme Competition is just that I’d forgotten how fun it is to get out and play with people,” Murdock said. “A lot of the time I’m out there personally refereeing and its fun to watch adults forget about their problems as they do things like see how high they can jump on the inflatable toys.”
Of the many games available at Extreme Competition, Murdock said inflatable sumo wrestling, jousting and the obstacle courses are by far the most popular. In fact, he said sumo is so popular that Extreme ordered special sumo suits to make it possible for smaller people to enjoy it.
Murdock said one of the reasons people enjoy the games at Extreme so much is because they are so uncommon. This means most people could not possibly be well practiced at them, making contests between individuals more interesting and challenging, he said.
Murdock’s business employs about 15 part-time college students and occupies more than 30,000 square-feet. Murdock said he has even greater plans for Extreme Competition.
At present Murdock is supervising construction of a rock climbing wall, rope courses and various obstacle courses that are only surmountable if participants work as a team.
The courses are built and designed by BYU Recreation Management alumnus Mark Zambrano, who also designs courses for television programs.
These new courses, which fill a building the size of a large warehouse, will be available to the public but will also be used for special workshops available to businesses, schools and other organizations that seek to improve cooperation and instill a sense of camaraderie between individuals.
All of Extreme Competition’s obstacle courses and inflatable games are mobile and available for on-site activities sponsored by private parties or businesses. In addition, private parties may be held in reservable rooms at Extreme’s Orem Boulevard location.
BYU student Maureen Richardson, a social science major from Pleasanton, Calif., recently discovered Extreme and its many games with her husband and a group of friends.
“It was a lot of fun because I got to beat up on my husband,” Richardson said.
Another BYU student, Colleen Conlin, a history major from Bellevue, Wash., was there along with the Richardsons.
“The main thing I really liked about it was that it made you feel like you were 4 years old again, because you’re jumping around on these gigantic inflatable pillows and you can’t stop laughing,” Conlin said.
Admission to Extreme Competition is $4 per hour for individuals and averages from $2-3 per hour for each individual in a private party.