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Boulder Gym vs. Roped Gym for 500m2 land


Original Post
Majed Alnaji · · Boston · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30

If you had a free 500m2 land to build the first rock climbing gym in a 1M population city, would you use to for a bouldering gym (i.e. bloc shop) or roped+boulder (CRG Randloph)? Why, why not?

Sam Skovgaard · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

In this hypothetical city, what kind of natural climbing is around?

Victor K · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 170

In an urban setting, a common proportion for a site like this would be long and skinny, say 40'x125'. If the land is more square, it would be 75x75. You should base your choice on the shape of the land. Long and skinny, roped. Square, bouldering. You can see in your linked examples why this is the case. But it's hard to imagine being able to make the numbers work for such a small facility. Every climbing gym I've been in is either in a re-purposed existing industrial space, or in a large, pre-engineering metal building (think IKEA or a maintenance building) to minimize the cost/sf per customer. A small space like this might be more adaptable to a climbing oriented fitness facility (moon boards, hang boards, weights, other climbing fitness apparatus). For example: ​Mountain Strong​​​ 

Majed Alnaji · · Boston · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 30
Sam Skovgaard wrote: In this hypothetical city, what kind of natural climbing is around?

Outdoor sport climbing within 1 - 2 hours, and a completely novice population. It has come to my attention that for the purposes of training new climbers, an adult bouldering facility is harder to work with for training children how to climb. The likely solution is a combination of a top-rope/lead area, and a bouldering area. The land shape is likely square in shape.

Wes Turner · · az / pa · Joined May 2003 · Points: 30
Majed Alnaji wrote: If you had a free 500m2 land to build the first rock climbing gym in a 1M population city, would you use to for a bouldering gym (i.e. bloc shop) or roped+boulder (CRG Randloph)? Why, why not?

Mixed. No doubt. Have a solid bouldering section, but definitely have roped climbing. And the reasoning behind that is that you cater to more people. Allow people to develop further into the actual sport. It's a no brainer in the scenario you proposed. First gym, 1 M pop, etc.…

Carolina · · Farmington, NC · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 75

Why build a climbing gym? Is this really a profitable business?  Have you thought about weather it would be good for the world to turn the novice population turned trained climber gummys loose onto the sport climbing areas 1-2 hours away? And then beyond to the worlds finest climbing destinations?  
What is the purpose ?

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20
Carolina wrote: Why build a climbing gym? Is this really a profitable business?  

Your pathetic trolling is becoming tedious. Perhaps you should consider apprenticeship with Mr. Tradiban?

In June 2015 the Climbing Business Journal released the first ever industry survey to measure the size and economic impact of the indoor climbing industry in the USA and Canada.​​​
Carolina · · Farmington, NC · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 75
amarius wrote:

Your pathetic trolling is becoming tedious. Perhaps you should consider apprenticeship with Mr. Tradiban?

In June 2015 the Climbing Business Journal released the first ever industry survey to measure the size and economic impact of the indoor climbing industry in the USA and Canada.

My friend Amarius, so sorry to offend your sensibilities “.

But i am not convinced climbing gyms are a wholly a good thing.  Sure they offer some benefits but personally I can do without them.   
Their are plenty of profitable business out there that do no good for the community.  Climbing gyms are on the spectrum closer to worthless, then worthwhile.  Imo
My comment was directed at the OP to consider all the myriad of factors in opening gym, or any business for that matter. Not simply a rope area or bouldering cave. 
Take it or leave it. But I offer my opinions in good faith.
John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

5,000 feet of land isn’t big enough for any kind of climbing gym to serve a city that big. Anything you built would be very small and vulnerable to any large gym chain that would want to come in and build.

2-4 acres is generally what’s sought after for gyms these days.

That said, if you’re going to do it, build a bouldering gym- the size of the space is small enough that anything else would be a massive compromise.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877
Carolina wrote:
What is the purpose ?

Umm. Make a profit. Earn a living. 

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 877
Carolina wrote:


Their are plenty of profitable business out there that do no good for the community.  
Hmm. A profitable business sells enough goods or services to be profitable but does no good to the community?  That’s a good one. Jobs, salaries, taxes, money circulating and enough market demand to keep it profitable. Yep. No good. 
Climbing gyms are on the spectrum closer to worthless, then worthwhile.  Imo

If it is a service you don’t want or need , don’t spend your money there. The market will decide whether any gym or any service will survive. But you knew this. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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