Thirllseekers, one of Colorado’s oldest climbing gyms closed its doors for the final time last week. President and owner Kevin Smith said he is getting closer to retiring.
Thrillseekers has been at the same location since it opened 25 years ago. Smith told the Business Den, that when it opened, there were just a few climbing gyms scattered around the Front Range: Paradise Rock Gym, which closed in 2008, and CATS Climbing and Boulder Rock Club in Boulder.
Now the Denver area is a hotbed of gym development. In the last year, Ubergrippen in Stapleton opened and closest to Thrillseekers is what will become the US’s largest gym in Englewood. Movement Climbing + Fitness is opening its RiNo location this summer, and the The Valley Climbing and Fitness plans to open next year.
Smith, now in his 60s, said he wanted a place to teach beginner climbers how to belay and use proper technique, especially when he couldn’t take them climbing outside. Now he sees 50 to 100 climbers, from beginners to experts, passing through the doors every day.
“We’ve always been catering to the climber who prefers to climb out-of-doors, so it’s greatly based on weather,” Smith said.