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Lone Tree's iFLY Takes Team Building to Daring New Heights

Tucked inside millennial employees' trendy messenger bags are new ideas of what office life should be like


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Boosting morale used to be as easy as organizing an annual company golf outing. But that might not cut it anymore. Today, more than one in three American workers were born between 1980 and 1995, making millennials the largest generation currently in the work force. And tucked inside these employees' trendy messenger bags are new ideas of what office life should be like.

Responding to the times, employers such as the Opus Group, Charles Schwab and Facebook are taking an exhilarating approach to team building by hosting corporate events at Colorado’s only indoor skydiving gym.

“From tech startups to law firms, we have hundreds of companies fly with us annually,” says Marc Gibbons, sales manager for iFLY Denver.

The organization can accommodate up to 100 participants but will host events for groups as small as 12. After completing a quick safety session, fliers are outfitted for their dive – all necessary flight gear is provided – and led into a vertical wind tunnel designed to simulate the feeling of free falling from a 12,500-foot drop zone — without any of the safety risks, of course. The experience is so realistic that professional skydivers and military personnel frequent iFLY Denver for training purposes.

"Safety is paramount,” Gibbons says, noting that wind speed is adjusted to a flier’s body weight, and there’s a strong, bouncy safety net, too, where rigorously trained flight guides stand while assisting newbies.

iFLY’s guides might be seasoned skydivers who have logged thousands of dives, but your employees hardly have to be professionals to have a good time. And that’s part of the draw.

Skydiving isn’t like bowling or golf. “It’s very rare that somebody is really, really good at indoor skydiving,” Gibbons says. “Everyone who dives is on an even playing field,” he continues, noting that equity enhances feelings of camaraderie. What really facilitates bonding, though, are the pre-flight jitters most first-time fliers get.

“People are usually a little bit nervous when they fly and as a result they’ll open up in different ways,” Gibbons says. Corporate packages start at $600, and include all necessary flight gear, instruction, and hands-on assistance from a certified guide. For more information or to book your company’s next outing, visit iflyworld.com/denver.

3 MORE TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES YOUR EMPLOYEES WON'T HATE

  1. Uncover hidden talents and fine-tune conflict resolution skills while trapped at Downtown Escape Room, which puts on a popular corporate team-building program.
  2. Coax out a competitive edge with a pingpong tournament at Ace Eat Serve, offering great grub and a lively event space for company events for 20 to 500 people.
  3. Watch your work force learn the art of cooperation while bagging food for those in need during a corporate group volunteer event facilitated by Volunteers of America
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Jamie Siebrase

Jamie Siebrase is a freelance writer based in Colorado.

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