Wichita A Wichita amusement center where a 5-year-old boy died in March plans to reopen next month with new padding and other safety measures in place.
Pure Entertainment is facing a civil lawsuit filed by the mother of Matthew Branham, who died after falling from an inflatable ride and hitting his head on the floor. Duane Zogleman, who owns the inflatable rides operated by the company, has said the accident was the result of family members misusing equipment.
“We’re trying to move forward and be positive,” Zogleman said. “The city of Wichita doesn’t have anything for kids to do, and we’re trying to do something. ... I wholeheartedly believe in what we’re doing. I believe from the bottom of my heart that this is a wonderful thing.”
Pure Entertainment’s portable-amusement license was suspended for 90 days in May for failing to have the rides properly inspected. Since then, Pure Entertainment has spent more than $20,000 on padded carpet.
The Wichita Eagle reported Friday that Todd Shadid, an attorney for the boy’s family, declined to discuss the facility’s reopening.
“Curious as to why they added padding now rather than before,” he told the newspaper in an e-mail.
Pure Entertainment opened in November 2009 in a former tennis academy building. Since the March 22 accident, employees have received additional training on ride operation and safety, Zogleman said.
“We could have gone back in and opened up and not done anything different,” he said, “but we want to be the leaders in the industry.”
Zogleman said the indoor playground will be reopened Oct. 7 for children’s parties, special events and general-admission “open bounce” sessions. His son will manage daily operations.
“We’ve been beaten up and beaten up over this, and we just want to move forward,” Zogleman said.