Sit back, relax and don’t worry about a thing – Pump It Up throws the party for you.
With eight large inflatables in two arenas and a party room, Murrieta’s Pump It Up, at 41785 Elm St., Suite 203, creates customized party experiences for all ages. This location opened its doors around 15 years ago, thanks to John Alderson, a former senior vice president of Starbucks coffee.
“I spent 25 years with a company called Chart House restaurants,” Alderson said. After Chart House, Alderson spent a few years running Steak and Ale in Dallas, Texas, before taking a position as a senior vice president for Starbucks. After that, Alderson said he thought he might retire doing some work in the hospitality industry.
“We opened here about 15 years ago, and I’ve been here six days a week since then, not because I have to, but because I love the place. I love being of service to other people,” Alderson said.
As of 2019, Alderson sold as much as he could of the company to longtime employee Elsa Leavitt.
“It saved my life when Elsa walked in a couple years after we opened,” Alderson said.
For Leavitt, working at Pump It Up is an extension of what she used to do.
“I grew up in Hollywood, grew up in theater,” Leavitt said. With my theater experience, it’s no different staging for parties than it is for a show,” she said. “So, a lot of what I do here and my success here is basically stage managing. Our idea here is to create an experience for our customers, not just a place where you just throw the kids in and then they just run wild, we want to create the best party in the world.”
Pump It Up Murrieta on average holds around 1,500 parties a year, with around 40 parties on a strong weekend.
“We schedule parties every 40 minutes, we start at 9 o’clock in the morning on Saturday all the way through 8:20 p.m. at night, which gives us the capability of doing 18 parties in a day,” Alderson said.
“A lot of the magic happens in the party room,” Leavitt said. “The front desk employees sign you in; they’re getting you started. Two party attendants stay with you at all times, and they’re also taking pictures during the party.”
The photos are displayed in the party room on the TV, she said.
“We are setup for those moms who don’t have time. We can do it all: cake, goody bags, character theme balloons, everything,” Leavitt said. “You don’t have to bring anything, just walk through the door. But we’re also here for those moms who want to go crazy a little bit and do their own thing.”
While they host parties on the weekends, they also have open jump sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. Within the rooms there is air hockey, building blocks and an interactive floor game for children to compete. They also can provide glow parties with black lights.
“We had been to parties before, and my daughter loved it,” Temecula resident Julieta Palmer said. “I loved that they do everything for the parents, and we get to have fun.”
“We don’t treat every party the same,” Leavitt said. “We’re not a party factory. We take pride in making sure every party is what that particular mom is looking for, what that child wants.”
Lexington Howe can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.