The Rocktown Climbing Gym in Oklahoma City is set to close next month following a decision by the property owner not to renew the gym’s lease.
According to NewsOK Steven Charles, who runs Rocktown and an associated nonprofit, Rocktown Youth, said he was informed this week the property owner, Mark Ruffin, was not willing to renew the lease after Jan. 1.
The rock climbing gym, originally known as OKC Rocks, was heralded as an innovative reuse of the long abandoned yet visually prominent grain elevator when it opened in 1999.
Charles told The Oklahoman that the closure will hurt his work with Rocktown Youth, which provides mentoring to 100 kids and cycling programs with teens at nearby schools
“Rocktown Climbing Gym, starting a year and a half ago, began giving the nonprofit an infusion of funding,” Charles said. “It helped us increase our program and start the school-based cycling program. The whole operation is in some sort of jeopardy. We lose our home. And that was our largest funding source.”