First-Time Owners Break Ground on Toledo’s Climbing Gym

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Adventus Climbing groundbreaking ceremony
Five years in the making, Adventus Climbing is officially on the way in Toledo, Ohio, following its groundbreaking last fall. (All photos courtesy of Adventus Climbing)

Adventus Climbing
Toledo, Ohio

Specs: Adventus Climbing, founded by Rachel Hobson and Jamie Monagan, had its groundbreaking ceremony in November and is expected to open this June as Toledo, Ohio’s sole commercial climbing gym. According to Hobson, Monagan, an investment advisor, recognized the business potential at the climbing facilities they had been visiting. “We, alongside other local climbers, were asking, ‘Why are there no climbing gyms in Toledo?’” said Hobson. After hearing a presentation from the Executive Director of Toledo Metroparks in 2017, Hobson and Monagan began thinking more seriously about opening a climbing facility in Toledo.

 

“We researched the indoor rock-climbing community outcomes in geographically non-climbing locations and found there was typically success,” Hobson explained. “We found that every major market in Ohio had at least one climbing gym―even markets smaller than Toledo, like Dayton and Akron. Our research created a clear picture that a climbing center in Toledo would 1) serve a hungry, untapped market, and 2) assist in evolving our local economy towards family-friendly recreation.” The pair attended the CWA Summit in 2018 and, during James Mills’ presentation on the Adventure Gap, had a moment where they looked at one another and said, “We’re doing this.” They then found teams of local investors, formalized a partnership with Matt Roberts and his team from 5.Life, and started jumping the hurdles to opening a new gym.

“We navigated Covid impacts, new business financing coming to a complete halt, raising interest rates, inflated materials and shipping costs―all while having to prove a concept that doesn’t exist in Toledo,” detailed Hobson. “With time and an abundance of presented research, people began to understand our vision and got on board…Between a few business plans and the help of the 5.Life expertise, we were on our way to building a 12,000-square-foot, full-service climbing center.”

The owners chose the gym’s location―near Metroparks Toledo―with the target market of walkers, runners, cyclists, and river athletes in mind. “We are situated adjacent, and with an access path, to the University/Parks Trail; a paved trail with access to the University of Toledo, Wildwood Preserve Metropark trail system, several neighborhoods, and designated roadway connection to Ottawa Park, Olander Park and Westfield Shoppingtown at Franklin Park,” said Hobson.

Adventus gym property
Hobson hopes the new gym’s site will help the business “reach and create climbers.”

In addition to 10,217 square feet of climbing surface―which will include 40-foot roped walls and various bouldering options―the new facility will have fitness equipment, climbing-specific training options, as well as food, drinks, a retail shop, and a party room. Outside the gym, Adventus will have an outdoor space with a fire pit, slacklining, and rentable bikes.

The owners are also planning on forming more partnerships with local businesses―like their partnership with CycleWerks, which is co-owned by Adventus owners/investors Laura and Jon Hoag. “We want to collaborate with all of those who serve our market, not compete,” Hobson said. “We are here to serve a common goal of fostering adventure that connects people in a meaningful way.”

Walls: Walltopia
Flooring: Not yet finalized
CRM Software: Not yet finalized
Website: www.adventusclimbing.com
Instagram: @AdventusClimbing

In Their Words: “The Latin word Adventus means ‘the approach and the arrival’: approach your goals, aspirations, fears, limitations, the unknown, and a new route; arrive at new knowledge, awareness, skills, strength, confidence, and the final hold of the route.” – Rachel Hobson, Adventus Climbing co-founder