The Climbing Biz

Things have been going really well at the rock gym. We’ve been busy every weekend since we opened last year on Nov 5, 2007.

What we did was take a gym that was on its way out and turn it around so that it is now on its way up. Everything about the gym has changed for the better.

This was our first year running a climbing gym and it has been an incredible amount of time, work, and sacrifice but my hope is that our investment will pay off – not only in revenue but in community impact.

I went a step further this year and started another business with a friend. After building a new wall at the gym I was approached by an architectural firm about designing a climbing wall for Chesapeake Energy. I took the job and found that the path lead me closer to a non-existing market in the midwest – professional climbing wall design and building. The design job soon lead to bidding on construction of the wall and the need to start a company. So my friend Eric and I partnered up and started Rock Island Climbing Wall Company. We are a little more than halfway through our first major project – the Chesapeake Climbing Wall – all the steel work and plywood sheeting is complete. The next phase is texture, which we will begin on Monday.

On another note, the Oklahoma Climbing Team is competing in their first USA Climbing ABS competition this Saturday in Frisco, TX. Currently we have 10 kids on the team ranging in age from 8 to 18. This is a new experience for most of them – only 2 of them have ever competed before and most have been climbing less than one year – but we are hopeful that they will have a great time and continue to progress as they gain experience.

So things have been busy. I haven’t got to climb outside much – except for the 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell comp in Sept. But next year….there’s always next year. I think things will calm down and I’ll have more time to climb. Or at least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.

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