Eldorado Climbing Walls is moving away from the commercial climbing gym sector with the help of a new owner who is no stranger to the company. Kevin Volz, who has been the CEO of Eldorado Climbing Walls since 2015, purchased the 24-year-old company two months ago.
“My predecessor was really pursuing the commercial climbing gym market,” Volz told BusinessDen. “That was a little off-base when it comes to the margins of the products and the resources,” he said.
Even though the company just completed a large commercial gym in Oakland Park, Florida called projectROCK, Volz is starting to sell to more universities for their rec centers, ski resorts, apartment complexes and homeowners who want their own climbing wall.
“We make twice as much money when we go to the university setting, or when we go to Vail,” he said. This is typical of most climbing wall builders who build for both commercial and institutional customers. The current trend however, is for the major builders like Walltopia, Entre-Prises and Vertical Solutions to concentrate on the rapidly growing commercial market. This move could allow Volz to corner a smaller yet more profitable market.
“It’s all these little things we’ve got our finger in the pot and they’re all growing,” Volz said. “The most dramatic thing we’ve seen in the past year are the trampoline parks. It seems as part of their suite of offerings they’ve embraced climbing.”
Eldorado Climbing Walls has been manufacturing climbing walls in Boulder, Colorado since 1994 and employs 45 people. The company’s headquarters are a combined 10,000 square feet spread over two location outside of Boulder.
“Right now, we’ve run out of space, and there’s no room to expand,” Volz said. “We’re looking for somewhere between 10,000 to 12,000 square feet.”
One of Volz’s first moves at the helm of Eldo was not an initiative to build more walls. Instead it was a move to get more climbers climbing. Volz invited individuals and companies to join him in donating to Paradox Sports an adaptive climbing organization. Volz kicks off the campaign with a donation of $6,600 and a commitment to donate 5% from the sale of Eldorado’s Climbing Slabs and Panels going forward.