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New climbing gym in Denver
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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Dec 30, 2011
Slick Rock put in

Funny how my opinion is so well known on this and I haven't even piped in on this thread! There's a lot of perfect buildings northeast of downtown. And cheap! That's my vote but the Colfax/1-25 area is also appealing. The theatre in the Bonfil complex has been reopened by the Denver Film Society. Rick lets grab a beer and plot our influencing of this gyms future location.


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By matt davies
Dec 30, 2011

A gym close to Allen's house would be awesome, for me and the thousands of other Denver climbers in that area.


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By Michael Slater
From Denver
Jan 3, 2012

I'd love to see a gym down town or in the general vacinity. Currently there is only one gym in town and it is the Denver Bouldering Club (only bouldering and expensive at that). I currently am a member at RJ1/2 and it is such a pain in the ass to get there after work with traffic. I light rail it to work also, so I have to get home, get the car, then sit in a parking lot on I-25 that I normally avoid. Look on the RTD Fast Trax website and look for a location close to town and to existing or under construction rail please! There will naturally be new developement/traffic near the Transit Oriented Districts (TOD's) that new and re-developed rail stations will create. I'd gladly change my membership and maybe even pay a higher rate for my 6 month pass for a more convienent gym even if it was only about the same size as RJ1.


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By Jeremy Kasmann
From Denver, CO
Jan 3, 2012

Michael Slater wrote:
I'd love to see a gym down town or in the general vacinity. I currently am a member at RJ1/2 and it is such a pain in the ass to get there after work with traffic. I'd gladly change my membership and maybe even pay a higher rate for my 6 month pass for a more convienent gym even if it was only about the same size as RJ1.


Ditto here. Most of the downtown locations mentioned would be a big improvement. If a gym was built at C470/Santa Fe I would stay at RnJ.


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By Wally
From Denver
Jan 3, 2012

Often times I meet friends at the gym who live in another part of town - further supporting a central Denver location.

Wally


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By Legs Magillicutty
From Littleton
Jan 3, 2012
Function over fashion.  My newest pair of climbing shoes.

We were just talking about this the other day. There are a lot of climbers in the Littleton/Lakewood/Morrison area who travel the awful commute to hit the gyms, all of which are to the east. It would be so nice to have something on the west side along the C-470 corridor. It would offer easier access for the SW climbers and still be accessible for climbers approaching from the east via 285. Golden would be nice too. I-25 and Colfax is good but still doesn't offer much releif for those of us on the west side. I still miss Paradise. I heard they may not be coming back.


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By Legs Magillicutty
From Littleton
Jan 3, 2012
Function over fashion.  My newest pair of climbing shoes.

Michael Slater wrote:
I'd love to see a gym down town or in the general vacinity. Currently there is only one gym in town and it is the Denver Bouldering Club (only bouldering and expensive at that). I currently am a member at RJ1/2 and it is such a pain in the ass to get there after work with traffic. I light rail it to work also, so I have to get home, get the car, then sit in a parking lot on I-25 that I normally avoid. Look on the RTD Fast Trax website and look for a location close to town and to existing or under construction rail please! There will naturally be new developement/traffic near the Transit Oriented Districts (TOD's) that new and re-developed rail stations will create. I'd gladly change my membership and maybe even pay a higher rate for my 6 month pass for a more convienent gym even if it was only about the same size as RJ1.



Is Thrill Seekers still around?


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By J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Jan 3, 2012
Me too!

Golden/West-side would be great...please allow dry-tooling wherever it ends up going...the only gym I know of that allows DT'ing is in CO-Springs...and I'll never go that far to pull plastic.


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By cathy proenza
From eldorado springs, co
Jan 3, 2012
Clear Creek

I heard that they are looking for developers for the old Stapleton air traffic control tower. That would make a cool gym! although the location is not ideal.

My vote location-wise is downtown/central.


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By mike suarez
Jan 3, 2012

First off, thank you for considering a gym in Denver proper. I believe that there is more than enough demand between the colleges and the young professionals who choose to live in the city to sustain an actual gym in Denver. Also, the current problem is that all gyms are in the suburbs, so to put a new one in west Denver is to maintain the status quo of there being no gym in a city of over 500,000 people. I also agree that the south Broadway area would be great. What about the old "kitty's" facility? I think it is empty or for sale. It would help revamp a block in an already great neighborhood. In any case, great discussion!

cheers,
mike


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By Derek Lawrence
From Bailey
Jan 3, 2012
Cocaine Corner

mike suarez wrote:
south Broadway area... the old "kitty's" facility...


South Broadway in a former porn theater??? Do we really need 2 Thrillseeker's???


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By Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Jan 3, 2012
Mt. Baker

Thanks for the feedback everyone...keep it coming.

I agree that putting a gym in the Lakewood area to cater W. Denver and Golden climbers might work well. However if you put one that far west it seems you are not going to get many climbers at all from the developing Aurora area. Hence eliminating an entire section of Denver.

It seems like there is an opinion from a few climbers (not necessarily one's that have posted here on MP) in Golden/Arvada that driving to the 6th and I-25 area is too far. I live in the S. Broadway area and take 6th west to go to CCC and the commute doesn't seem like it would be too painful.

However I am still fairly new to the Denver and the "how long it takes to get from here to there" is still something I am learning. I am also originally from St. Louis where you can pretty much expect to drive 20 min to get to where you want to go every time you leave the house.

Time for the Sugar Bowl...Go Blue!


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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jan 3, 2012
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.

The reality is that Denver could easily boost several additional gyms if they are set-up to cater to certain niches.

The south and west sides of the city are relatively far from any current gyms today and could easily support a smaller gym. However it needs to cater to the locale which is a lot of birthday parties and a lot of suburban type things. Also I would assume it would be hard to gain a lot of memberships from the occasional climber as the existing work-out gym infrastructure is significantly more robust and concentrated then anything in Denver proper. I would expect a rock'n jam'n sized gym could do very well in that area with or without any gyms in central Denver.

A gym in the city limits of Denver would be prime. There is no reason why there shouldn't be a world-class gym here that can easily be one of the top gyms in the country. There is limited direct competition (thrillseekers, DBC, RJ), unorganized and sparse indirect competition (other workout facilities), and a huge population. The gym would need to be big, cater to a diverse population, centered near I-25 and near lightrail access (to take advantage of huge populations of the Auroria campus and the DU campus). Remember that people in Golden will gripe about the distance even if it is <20 mins b/c CCC is <5 mins away.

The hard part is getting a quality location and from my real estate research in the area it is unlikely that an existing building can be used unless it was heavily renovated. Land and Parking are available, however decent sized parcels in good locations are not cheap. Also a few areas like the Santa Fe art district and the warehouses around there may appear to be very close to lightrail, etc until you realize that they are not designed for pedestrian access and can easily be a 30 min walk from a lightrail.

The more I have researched gyms the more surprised I am at the lack of quality gyms in the Denver Metro. Currently the largest gym in the USA is in Atlanta which already has several gyms and from what I can tell is hours from serious outdoor rock.

What kind of capital are you talking about? More or Less then $1 million? Does it involve the purchase of building/land?

Also read everything posted here: climbsoill.blogspot.com/


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jan 3, 2012
Stabby

Mark Wyss wrote:
I agree that putting a gym in the Lakewood area to cater W. Denver and Golden climbers might work well.

You could always build a fake snow ski hill next to Winter Park too.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 3, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

Legs Magillicutty wrote:
Is Thrill Seekers still around?


I'm pretty sure it is.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jan 3, 2012
Stabby

Speaking of Thrill Seekers, Mark should go and spend some time w/ Kevin on the realities of gym ownership


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By rangerdrew
From Loveland
Jan 4, 2012
Evans Aprons

I'd use a downtown gym. My world is basically downtown and a climbing gym within a short biking distance would be stellar. I'm reluctantly getting an RJ1 membership tomorrow. I'd pay extra money for a downtown location.


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By Matt H
Jan 4, 2012
Lover's Leap

Mike Lane wrote:
You could always build a fake snow ski hill next to Winter Park too.


Wait... are you trying to imply that Winter Park has real snow? Let me drop some knowledge on you. They don't.


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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Jan 4, 2012
Me, of course

Lakewood

Charles Whitlock Climbing Gym
1555 Dover St.
Lakewood, Colorado 80215
(303) 987-4800
www.lakewood.org

Lakewood Climbing Wall
1295 S. Reed Street
Lakewood, Colorado
(303) 987-5411
www.lakewood.org
> Lead climbing cave, free-climb and top rope indoor climbing wall

The Point Athletic
533 Van Gordon Street
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
(303) 988-1300
www.pointathleticclub.com

REI-Southwest Denver
5375 S. Wadsworth Blvd
Denver, Colorado 80123
(303) 932-0600
www.rei.com


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By J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Jan 5, 2012
Me too!

The coming addition of Fastracks between downtown and Golden would help facilitate business in either direction for a gym, I would think.


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By CBW
Jan 6, 2012

Cost of building a "modern" 20,000+ sq foot climbing gym will be close to 2 million if you find a building that is already tall and in decent shape. Cost of raising a roof is approx $25/sq foot. The biggest problem with the Denver market is not the lack of buildings or the lack of climbers, it will be convincing those climbers to pay the rates required to support the costs of a premium gym. Think $20 day passes and $70 per month EFTs. Yes Denver deserves such a gym, but it is a risky investment. That's why the biggest gyms in the country are in places with high disposable income and large populations (these places can justify the financial risk). The largest climbing wall in the country (38,500+ square feet of climbing) is in Rockville Md www.earthtreksclimbing.com. Of course Denver can get lucky and have a person of independent wealth (or years and years of climbing gym experience) show up and gift us a gym, in which case I want that gift on the West Side.


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By Jeremy Kasmann
From Denver, CO
Jan 6, 2012

CBW wrote:
The biggest problem with the Denver market is not the lack of buildings or the lack of climbers, it will be convincing those climbers to pay the rates required to support the costs of a premium gym. Think $20 day passes and $70 per month EFTs.


Why would $70/mo EFT be such a hard sell? That is only $10/mo more than RnJ. I would pay that for sure for a modern, convenient gym in the city.


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By OReid
From Denver, CO
Jan 6, 2012
preparing to rap over a crevasse; Mt. Waddington, Bravo Glacier Route

Here's my 2 cents:

Lots of people go to the gym after work. Lots of people commute across the city. Why not catch them all? Put a nice big gym near the intersection of I-25 and I-70. There's lots of commercial real estate in that vicinity.


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By Victor K
From Denver, CO
Jan 6, 2012
Water!

I've been climbing at Earthtreks while temporarily working in the DC area. It's $18.00 for a day pass and $65 a month for membership. The day pass is pricey, but membership is competitive with Front Range prices. It has similar features to Movement,just more. It's a wonderful gym.
While my preference would be downtown, any new gym not downtown should be within 1/4 mile of and walkable from light rail (Earthtreks is 4 blocks from the Metro). That way, the gym will be an alternative to climbers when gas gets goofy expensive.
Think about integrating the gym into a larger new development, so that it could piggyback onto a larger plan. I'd look at any planned transit oriented developments (TOD for the jargon happy)and see if there were any opportunities there. Shames-Makovsky owns the vacant lot across from the Convention Center. Perhaps a swank downtown "extreme sports club" could distinguish a new multi-use project there.
There's a plan to do a new rec center at York and Colfax, when funds become available. Perhaps a public/private partnership of some sort could create something really innovative that serves a population larger than the climbing community. I've always thought a gym that served all outdoor athletes would be just the ticket, particularly in the Front Range.


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
Jan 6, 2012
Just a teaser

To Quote a previous post.

Lakewood Charles Whitlock Climbing Gym
1555 Dover St. Lakewood, Colorado 80215 (303) 987-4800

Lakewood Climbing Wall
1295 S. Reed Street Lakewood, Colorado (303) 987-5411
Lead climbing cave, free-climb and top rope indoor climbing wall

The Point Athletic
533 Van Gordon Street Lakewood, Colorado 80228 (303) 988-1300

REI-Southwest Denver
5375 S. Wadsworth Blvd Denver, Colorado 80123 (303) 932-0600

The REI on Wadsworth got rid of their wall about 4 years ago, and the Whitlock Rec Center is top rope only on a very, very small wall. The link is great, cheap, and fun, but very small so you can climb out the whole wall in one night.


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