Durango Couple Gives Their Town a Gym

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Gravity Lab under construction
Located in a building once used by a gas and oil company, the repurposed Gravity Lab facility―which refills a climbing gym vacancy in the town―will soon have 16-foot bouldering problems and 25-foot roped walls. (All images courtesy of Gravity Lab)

Gravity Lab
Durango, Colorado

Specs: Planned to open this summer, Gravity Lab is expected to be the sole commercial climbing gym in Durango when it opens and will feature 3,600 square feet of top rope/auto belay climbing and bouldering surface. Amenities will include multiple training boards―such as a Kilter board, campus station and at least one spray wall―as well as yoga, weightlifting, cardio and retail.

 

A small city of about 20,000 people, owners and lifelong climbers Sebastiaan Zuidweg and Laura Chase chose Durango―located in southwestern Colorado―because of its outdoorsy culture and proximity to many outdoor climbing areas. “[We] were really surprised that there wasn’t already a climbing gym in town and saw that it was such an obvious need,” Zuidweg said about the time he and Chase, who are also married, moved to the area. In founding Gravity Lab, the couple hopes to provide a common meeting place for Durango climbers, and they intentionally purchased a lot with the possibility to expand the gym. (The previous climbing gym in Durango, The Rock Lounge, closed in 2021 after eleven years of operation.)

“[As] the only climbing gym in town…we need to cater to everybody’s needs and desires to a degree. We want high quality routesetting and we also want to be a space for the community,” said Zuidweg. In terms of programming, this will entail collaborations with local search and rescue groups and guiding companies, as well as providing adaptive and youth programs.

Gravity Lab owners Laura Chase and Sebastiaan Zuidweg
Chase and Zuidweg hope Gravity Lab will be a space that brings Durango climbers together, and the new gym’s opening this summer is the first phase of that project.

Walls: Vertical Solutions
Flooring: Habit
CRM Software: not yet finalized
Website: www.facebook.com/Gravity-Lab-111316811353647
Instagram: @gravitylabclimbing

In Their Words: “Climbing has always been such a huge part of our lives and brought so much benefit, joy, happiness, friendships, community…Owning a climbing gym was always kind of a pipe dream and then it kind of became a reality for us. We decided to pursue it, just because we lived here and we loved the local climbing community…It was good for us as a business, but also good for the community.” ― Sebastiaan Zuidweg