Bouldering Gym Opens in “Center Hub” for Wellness and Fitness in Coastal Town

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Seacoast Climb gym interior
Aptly-named Seacoast Climb—situated in Rye, New Hampshire, not far from the Atlantic Ocean coastline—opened this spring and brings a new climbing space to the seaside town. (All images courtesy of Seacoast Climb)

Seacoast Climb
Rye, New Hampshire

Specs: In March, the bouldering-focused gym Seacoast Climb opened in Rye, New Hampshire, with owner Matt Ming at the head, a resident of the area for about ten years. Throughout his life, Ming has competed in multiple sports and found climbing to be “the go-to activity” for his rest days and idle time. However, prior to this year—when Seacoast Climb and Salt Pump Portsmouth, a climbing gym located a bit further north, opened in the region—the nearest indoor climbing gyms had been about a 30-minute drive from Rye. “The goal was really just to bring [climbing] here,” Ming said of the new gym’s origins.

Capitan software

The concept for the building that now houses Seacoast Climb first came together when a legacy indoor skatepark on the property closed. “When the property was purchased [by a private owner] in 2021, the goal was to have a place where the seacoast could have a center hub for wellness and fitness,” said Ming. The facility, called Airfield Place, hosts a variety of fitness-related businesses, such as a pickleball club, physical therapy specialist, and traditional gym. After the traditional gym opened, Ming stopped by to check it out, intending to become a member. “I was on the treadmill overlooking the gym on the mezzanine, and planned to climb later that day, and I saw the space itself where Seacoast Climb is [now] located, and I just had an epiphany. I reached out to the property management, and several conversations later, we agreed it would really be a good fit for a climbing gym.”

The front desk at Seacoast
The new climbing gym at Airfield Place is one of several businesses operating within the sports complex, contributing a vertical element to the wellness and fitness hub.

The location was deemed ideal for a variety of reasons: According to Ming, the ceilings are high, the facility is well-lit, the building was updated after the skatepark closed, and the space is “inviting to anybody who walks in the building.” Additionally, Seacoast is located on a main road that runs parallel to the New Hampshire shoreline, in “a very lively place,” said Ming, with beaches and state parks nearby—a factor he hopes will help bring in new visitors to the gym.

Approach

Seacoast features a Kilter Board, hangboards, and stretching and skill-building spaces. Ming decided not to offer traditional fitness amenities, wanting to complement rather than compete with other businesses in the building. “At 6 Airfield Drive, there is a community of mixed interest,” Ming explained. “Some people really do come in to just lift weights, some people have other fitness goals…[The facility] really is hustling and bustling with a lot of excitement around fitness.”

Climbing at Seacoast
“The feedback and reception from the community has been wonderful,” Ming says about Seacoast, which also provides climbing skills classes for adults and younger climbers.

Walls: Eldorado Climbing
Flooring: Eldorado Climbing
CRM Software: RGP
Website: www.seacoastclimb.com
Instagram: @Seacoast_Climb

In Their Words: “[In Rye] there are a lot of different subcommunities for outdoor enthusiasts, indoor climbing enthusiasts, and ski enthusiasts. There’s just so many different pocket communities around here. Since announcing Seacoast Climb was opening up, the feedback and reception from the community has been wonderful. There are so many people who are just so excited that they have something in their backyard, and they don’t have to travel long distances to enjoy it. And that was the goal: to really bring something local where we can have some fun with fitness, make some friends, and share the joy of indoor climbing.” – Matt Ming, Owner of Seacoast Climb


[Editor’s Note: Corrections were made to the quotes in this article on May 15, 2024.]

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