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Community supported climbing gyms

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The health club where I used to climb removed their (quite nice) wall in favor of a yoga studio, so I have no convenient place to climb. I would build a wall in my garage, but that is where I store my climbing and skiing gear and my carpentry tools.

 

I am envisioning a co-op type of arrangement where climbers pay a monthly fee to support a small gym built in a warehouse or industrial building. The co-op members would design and build the structure. Does anyone have experience with community supported climbing gyms? What are the issues involved (liability, etc)? Has this worked in the past anywhere?

 

Thanks,

 

Dan

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I've found vague referrences to one in Silverthorne, CO, but when I finally found the address it was an empty warehouse and no one around here knows anything.

 

Based on that, I'd say negative is the most likely outcome.

 

I've thought of the same concept, but very surface research points out ridiculous zoning and insurance nonsense.

 

Since I've had the same idea for near me, I'm curious as well if anyone has anything positive to say.

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There are several private gyms in the Seattle area. As far as I know none are open "communities." Rather they are owned by small groups of friends who would most likely want to keep the "community" far away. At least one has been around continuously since the early 90's.

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I climbed at one called "The Shop" when I lived in Chicago. Best gym I ever climbed in, and the best group of people, too. You had to be invited as a guest and would pay about $5 per visit to help with rent, utilities, new holds, etc., but after some number of months, the rest of the members would vote to let you become a member. Then you get a key and could go whenever you wanted. Membership was based purely on whether you got along with everyone else in there. Very supportive place, and everyone was climbing REALLY hard outside as a result of that training and atmosphere.

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given the real estate costs in Seattle I could only envision this working if someone offered up their garage and was compensated by other members, thus keeping it within reasonable cost. I don't have a garage or I would consider doing it. i've got a bunch of holds and other supplies, but very limited space. i built a wall outside, but it is more to TR my son as it is taller (but not that tall, just enough to break your ankles on the patio if you fell from the top without a rope).

 

i also have a tiny wall in the basement, but again pretty much just useful for my son to monkey around on.

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That sounds like a pretty great idea. There must be warehouse-type spaces in industrial parks around Bothell, Tukwila, places like that, where a lease would be manageable.

I don't know anything about liability issues, but if the participants are over 21, and sign waivers, it seems like that wouldn't be an unmanageable issue. There are lawyer climbers around here who would know where to start.

There was a law change a few years back that changed cities' liability wrt skate parks, but I don't know how on point that is.

 

If the gym didn't provide the ropes or harnesses, that would be a huge avoidance of liability, I'd guess.

 

The real issue is, a few people would end up doing the lion's share of the work, and then others (like me) would want to skate along and pay a few bucks a visit.

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some of us live on the eastside and not the redmond part of the eastside. it's 45 min to an hour to get to those gyms for some of us.

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and who chose to live in Timbucktoo??

 

people who don't want the likes of you as a neighbor?

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hey...i'm a package deal...vw membership AND you can get to hang out in my stunning company...

 

you should move...

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Are the Mounties building any kind of gym in their new digs at Sandpoint?

 

Yes they are, or that's the plan.

 

That new building at Sandpoint has stirred up a lot of controversy.

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There was one in Mammoth a few years back called the Monkey Bar. You could pay a fee to be a member, each member had a key. Guests were meant to pay a $5 fee. With so many cash-poor people coming and going in that town, I think the multitude of keys and guest thing got abused. Not sure if that's the reason, but it closed down.

 

It worked for a while there. I think it could definitely work here. As others have mentioned, key is to get a free or affordable venue.

 

Maybe you could put up routes inside of an old silo, are there any farms near you?

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