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JUMP, Simplot Co. plan ‘fun’ and ‘animatronic’ additions to Downtown Boise campus

JUMP, or Jack’s Urban Meeting Place, in Downtown Boise, closed its doors in the early days of the pandemic and remains largely closed.

But the combination events space, tractor museum and interactive exhibit hall plans a series of upgrades soon.

Permits filed with the City of Boise show JUMP, LLC and SBP, LLP, the Simplot family entities that own both JUMP and the adjacent JR Simplot Company headquarters building, plan to make changes, if they can win approval from Boise’s Design Review Committee.

The first would add a series of shade sails over the slide zone atop the building’s southwest corner.

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The application says the shades would “Add a fun, creative tensile shade structure over Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP) Slide Zone.”

The project would go over the large stainless-steel slides that currently see full exposure to the summer sun, as well as the nearby patio area.

The shades would “become a colorful, artistic focal point at the top of the parking structure,” the application says.

One Horse open display

One Horse Treadmill Boise
The One Horse Trademill sits outside the JR Simplot Co. building in Boise along Front St. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Nearby, at the front entrance of the JR Simplot Company building, an existing “One-Horse Treadmill” would get an upgrade. The exhibit currently sits motionless, but the company and JUMP hope to add new upgrades.

The project would add “an animatronic mule, created by a Disney-caliber designer, to power the treadmill; a historic buzz saw from the Simplot collection powered by the energy ‘Molly the Mule’ generates on the treadmill; and a glass enclosure, similar to those housing the existing tractor exhibits on the premise, for safety.”

The permit says the project would add a new touch screen to activate the exhibit and provide “educational information.”

The one-horse treadmill comes from the Hof-Hart Co. of Iowana Springs, IA, according to markings on the side. Both the company and town are defunct. The devices were powered by horses or mules and provided a primitive way to generate electricity. Literal horsepower.

The City of Boise will hold a design review hearing on the upgrades, but no hearing date is set.

JUMP first opened in late 2015, while the Simplot HQ opened in 2017 after a number of delays.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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