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Seeking Founding MA Co-op Members
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By Jeff Ilg
Jan 28, 2014
Hey Climbers!

I am trying to start a 24/7/365 climbing co-op gym in MA. This concept is not new and has been done in New Paltz, Minnesota, Savannah and other international locations, so it is possible, we just have to find the right people.

I used to climb in the small homegrown gyms like Mill City and then when they were pushed out by these mega gyms I was forces to join them to climb in the winter months. Don't get me wrong, the gyms are awesome, but as a teacher my expendable income is very limited and the closest gym is an hour away on a good night.

My solution, I want to find like minded people that want to go in on a climbing co-op gym. I have done a large portion of the work to establish the co-op, have the bylaws nearly done, membership info, articles of incorporation, and have explored insurance options and have started the next phases... GET PEOPLE!

A bit about me...

I am a PE teacher by day, climbing guide for fun. Father of a 3 year old who is my best climbing partner and husband to my fun loving wife. I own a small guiding operating called the Adventure Co-op, that is open to guides like myself to cost share on liability insurance and other marketing demands. www.adventure.coop is the site if you want to check it out.

I live in Shirley, MA (just outside of Groton) have a small homestead with an acre of land I want to use... Possible location for the climbing barn!

I am great with building, framing and have TONS of tools to build with. (I am rebuilding a 1770 farmhouse)

If you are interested in learning more about the co-op and what our goals are please message me or post up on this thread. I want to hear from you. You can always send us your info with the provided contact form.

docs.google.com/forms/d/1b8K02...

Happy climbing,

Jeff

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jan 29, 2014
Stoked...
This sounds really awesome.. I'd love to do or be involved in something like this in the Stamford, CT area.

FLAG
By josh villeneuve
From Enfield, CT
Jan 29, 2014
Ditto, that part of MA is just way to far out of the way for me

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By Russ Keane
Jan 30, 2014
Where's Waldo?
All well and good, but in all seriousness- You live out in the middle of nowhere. How many people can you really pull together nearby to contribute? Private enterprise has to make the same decisions. The only way things work financially is through adequate volume (which is why more things exist in a city area). The only difference is a business seeks profit on top of the break-even point, to justify doing it in the first place.

Tough equation either way (co-op or business) to build a climbing gym in the middle of a rural town.

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By Just Jesse
From Methuen, MA
Jan 30, 2014
If you could figure out a way to get it closer to Lowell, i'm sure you could find more support (UMASS being close by would help a lot). I would love to be a part of a climbing co-op, but getting out to Shirley would just be impractical for me. On a side note... I still really miss Mill City. Hard to re-create that sort of fun/laid back vibe.

FLAG
By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jan 30, 2014
Russ Keane wrote:
All well and good, but in all seriousness- You live out in the middle of nowhere. How many people can you really pull together nearby to contribute? Private enterprise has to make the same decisions. The only way things work financially is through adequate volume (which is why more things exist in a city area). The only difference is a business seeks profit on top of the break-even point, to justify doing it in the first place. Tough equation either way (co-op or business) to build a climbing gym in the middle of a rural town.


I think the location issue is definitely worth thinking about. I'm pretty sure that the ease of access to the New Paltz Co-Op is helping it to do well. I'd also take a second look at the wisdom of building, winterizing, plumbing, and powering a building before the first hold is bolted on...that's a serious outlay (even if you do the work yourself) that the coop here didn't have to deal with. Any chance of locating a cheap space (ours shares a building with an auto shop) near the major highways?

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jan 30, 2014
Stoked...
Optimistic wrote:
I think the location issue is definitely worth thinking about. I'm pretty sure that the ease of access to the New Paltz Co-Op is helping it to do well. I'd also take a second look at the wisdom of building, winterizing, plumbing, and powering a building before the first hold is bolted on...that's a serious outlay (even if you do the work yourself) that the coop here didn't have to deal with. Any chance of locating a cheap space (ours shares a building with an auto shop) near the major highways?


Out of curiosity... how much sq ft do you guy rent and at what $rate/sqft/yr and how many members are equally sharing in the costs?

Thanks,

Morgan

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By Jake D.
From Northeast
Jan 30, 2014
Just Jesse wrote:
If you could figure out a way to get it closer to Lowell, i'm sure you could find more support (UMASS being close by would help a lot). I would love to be a part of a climbing co-op, but getting out to Shirley would just be impractical for me. On a side note... I still really miss Mill City. Hard to re-create that sort of fun/laid back vibe.



except there are already around 10 real gyms in and around boston now so the competition would be insane.

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By Taylor J
From new mexico, new england
Jan 30, 2014
My home project.... <br /> <br /><em>Eds. It may be called "The Compactor".</em>
Jeff Ilg wrote:
Hey Climbers! I am trying to start a 24/7/365 climbing co-op gym in MA. This concept is not new and has been done in New Paltz, Minnesota, Savannah and other international locations, so it is possible, we just have to find the right people. I used to climb in the small homegrown gyms like Mill City and then when they were pushed out by these mega gyms I was forces to join them to climb in the winter months. Don't get me wrong, the gyms are awesome, but as a teacher my expendable income is very limited and the closest gym is an hour away on a good night. My solution, I want to find like minded people that want to go in on a climbing co-op gym. I have done a large portion of the work to establish the co-op, have the bylaws nearly done, membership info, articles of incorporation, and have explored insurance options and have started the next phases... GET PEOPLE! A bit about me... I am a PE teacher by day, climbing guide for fun. Father of a 3 year old who is my best climbing partner and husband to my fun loving wife. I own a small guiding operating called the Adventure Co-op, that is open to guides like myself to cost share on liability insurance and other marketing demands. www.adventure.coop is the site if you want to check it out. I live in Shirley, MA (just outside of Groton) have a small homestead with an acre of land I want to use... Possible location for the climbing barn! I am great with building, framing and have TONS of tools to build with. (I am rebuilding a 1770 farmhouse) If you are interested in learning more about the co-op and what our goals are please message me or post up on this thread. I want to hear from you. You can always send us your info with the provided contact form. docs.google.com/forms/d/1b8K02... Happy climbing, Jeff


You can get to the Nashua gym in 45 minutes pretty easy from Shirley the Worcester gym is less than an hour as well. In my opinion most people in that area get outside or hit the gym pretty regularly you might be hard pressed to find enough folks to pitch in. Crow hill is 15 minuites away, Lincoln woods is 45 min, P Way is like 1 1/2 hours away, Rumney is like 2 1/2 hours, you have rose ledge, Mormon hollow, and Farley in western ma, if I still lived in the area my money would go to gas, but good luck...

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Jan 30, 2014
Morgan Patterson wrote:
Out of curiosity... how much sq ft do you guy rent and at what $rate/sqft/yr and how many members are equally sharing in the costs? Thanks, Morgan


I'm guessing 1600-2000 sf but I may be off. I don't know how much we pay for the rent, but membership costs 350/year and everyone pays the same as far as I know. I believe we are in the neighborhood of 60-70 members at this point. I think if you contact New Paltz Climbing Cooperative via facebook, Chad (I think we could call him our founder one of I'm guessing 10-15 people, of whom I am not one, who put a colossal amount of labor into making the place happen...they rule!) might be able to give you some more details.

FLAG
By Jeff Ilg
Jan 30, 2014
Optimistic wrote:
I'm guessing 1600-2000 sf but I may be off. I don't know how much we pay for the rent, but membership costs 350/year and everyone pays the same as far as I know. I believe we are in the neighborhood of 60-70 members at this point. I think if you contact New Paltz Climbing Cooperative via facebook, Chad (I think we could call him our founder one of I'm guessing 10-15 people, of whom I am not one, who put a colossal amount of labor into making the place happen...they rule!) might be able to give you some more details.



Hey Optimistic, I have been in touch with the people at NP Coop, I had a list of questions sent their way and will post up the answers as soon as I get them back.

If people have any questions you would like me to get answers for shoot me a message and I will answer them if I know and get the answer from other resources for ya.

FLAG
By Jeff Ilg
Jan 30, 2014
Lots of good insight, suggestions brewing, which is my plan. I realize the hurtles involved in such a project, and being a co-op we as members will make decisions whether this is something that is worth our time and energy involved.

Myself and the other members are very open to locations. The main idea would to gather interested parties and determining an ideal location for everyone that would maximize usage of the members primarily. With all the gyms around our area that is competition, but our goal is to serve our members, and not such much to appeal to the masses.

If we can keep overheat to a minimum by finding possible free space, cheap space through contacts and an ideal location for founding members that would be a start. Although Shirley seems like the middle of nowhere I am only a 20-25 minute drive to Lowell, where another founding member lives.

Along the 495/rt 2 belt is not your huge metro areas, but a pretty solid climbing community, which is the focus of our desired membership.

Lets keep the conversations going, and thanks again for all the insight.

On a side not, checked out Ayer Boulders this am with my son, did a bit of some playing around, going to get the crash pad out soon on a warmer day if anyone is interested.

Jeff

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By Jeff Ilg
Feb 4, 2014
From New Paltz Co-op:


We're about 80 members. 2000sqr ft. Very little revenue comes from nonmembers We do a buddy system for 24 hour access Insurance is a huge hurdle and right now technically we are operating without as our former insurer is price gouging...

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