First opened in 1993, Climbmax of Asheville, North Carolina will be expanding from their original downtown location and teaming up with Smoky Mountain Adventure Center in the hip River Arts District. The Citizen-Times recently had the chance to get a behind the scenes look at the new facility.
In addition to a 42-foot-high outdoor wall, the north, south and west walls of the 34-foot-high indoor wall will be completely climbable around the inside perimeter of the building. There will be an upstairs yoga room, Earthsports Design, a workout room, and a bar called the Asheville Hangout, which will sell root beer, as well as local cider and draft beer that people can enjoy on the wrap-around deck overlooking Amboy Room and the French Broad River Greenway. Downstairs will be a coffee bar selling smoothies, coffee and tea.
“We had some challenges with lending and with permitting. We had to wait for a variance to sit closer to the street. We didn’t want to disturb the cliff line,” Stuart Cowles, Founder of the adventure center said. “Also, we were trying to save the trees on the property, and we’re being proactive at being flood proof in a very challenging site. All of that has set us back.”
According to the Citizen-Times article, the center began with a $100,000 grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority in 2010. Cowles and part-time Asheville resident Daniel Nash bought the land, which they will lease to Smoky Mountain Adventure Center, which in turn will lease to Climbmax, Earthsports and two companies that will provide tube, raft, kayak, stand-up paddle board and comfort bike and kids mountain bike rentals.
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