Specs: Dino Moves, a bouldering-focused gym, opened last February in Nederland, Colorado, a mountain town situated about 20 minutes west of Boulder. After living in Nederland for a decade and being part of the “awesome community climbing in Boulder Canyon,” founder Carl Fritschel said he found himself in the same shoes as many other small-town gym owners, wondering why Nederland was without a gym and how they could add one. Owners Fritschel and Eric Gebhardt, both Nederland locals, noticed the “solid cohort of mountain athletes, as well as young families with children who are always looking for something to do” in their area. “Locals prefer to stay in the mountains when they can, and we wanted to make that possible for local climbers,” they said.
With just over 1,500 residents in the town, commercial real estate options were limited. “There are very few buildings that can support the zoning and infrastructure of a climbing gym in Nederland, so building selection was key,” the owners explained. “We also wanted to maximize value for a broad range of users, from young kids just starting out to hard crushers, while still fitting that into a modest space.” The duo found a former auto mechanic’s garage available to rent, which was one of the largest commercial spaces in town and had reasonable ceiling heights for bouldering, as well as sturdy walls for climbing infrastructure. It was also a relatively new building near Nederland’s high-traffic downtown area. After redoing the bathrooms and garage doors, the owners contracted Eldo Walls—located less than an hour away—to install the walls.
Fritschel and Gebhardt worked with another Colorado-based brand, Kilter, to add a training board in the 1,400-square-foot facility. “Being that our space is at a premium, adding in tens of thousands of new problems at variable angles [was] a really big deal for us,” the owners said. Additionally, Dino Moves has aerial yoga, campus boards, various mobility/fitness equipment, and reportedly the only public shower in Nederland. The owners offer early morning “breakfast club” hours for members and hope to one day provide 24/7 access for “night-owls” in the area. “The main draw of our gym is local community and convenience to access the space,” they said. “We obviously can’t compete in square footage with the larger gyms, but we have been blessed with a strong community of local climbers and we’re still growing every week!”
Walls: Eldo Walls
CRM Software: Capitan
In Their Words: “Try to include your community in the process as early as possible. Buy-in from them is critical to your success, and they may have a whole bunch of ideas and skill sets that help you get off the ground. And start working with your insurance provider as soon as possible, across the entire suite of services you would like to offer long-term.” – Dino Moves owners Carl Fritschel and Eric Gebhardt
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