Ashley Rodriguez said community is at the core of her business.
When it comes to her business, Ashley Rodriguez said she wants to bring families together.
On April 8, she opened Fuzion, an indoor play space designed to make its users feel like they're in their own living room. Located at 254 N. Nova Road, unit 266, in The Trails Shopping Center, Fuzion has been two years in the making. Rodriguez said she originally sought to open an escape room, but with the challenges brought forward by the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to pivot in a different direction.
And hearing the stories from the families she's met since has positively reinforced that decision.
"It's a space that's actually making an impact, and we've only been open a month," Rodriguez said.
A mom of two, the Ormond Beach resident noticed the need for indoor playgrounds in the city. She searched for a commercial unit for about a year, and then once she found the spot at The Trails Shopping Center, it took another six months to renovate and be ready to open.
Fuzion is open for children 6 months to 13 years old, with a main open play space for children up to 10 years old, storytimes and plans to soon add a rock wall in its 4,000-square facility. Because Rodriguez couldn't entirely forget her wish to open an escape room, Fuzion also offers one for the older children. The business also hosts special events for various ages and offers a date night drop-off option for its members.
Rodriguez, who is an Army veteran, said they opened with 20 founding members and have since grown to about 70. Fuzion will max out at a membership of 400, though it is not a membership-only facility. Patrons can pay per play session.
"It doesn't replace outdoor play," she said. "We need vitamin D, we need our sun, but it's a good option especially for grandparents, stay-at-home parents, homeschoolers, to be able to use the space indoors."
In order to make it more comfortable for parents, Rodriguez has added a lounge space for them to utilize while their children are playing. Fuzion also has a youth employment program, and his hiring teens 14 and older. Rodriguez has hired four teens so far.
Now is the time for community, said Rodriguez.
"We're a space that we drive community, we drive events, we work with our nonprofit partners," she said. "Now is the time to connect with each other, help each other and really bring this space to life."