A group of climbers is planning to turn an old barn into a modern climbing facility in the Central Washington town of Wenatchee, which sits on the eastern side of the Cascades near the bouldering paradise of Leavenworth.
According to Icicle.tv, the gym will be called the Riverfront Rock Gym and feature over 10,000 square feet of lead, top rope, boulder, and kid-climbing features. In addition, it will offer a 1,500 square foot space for traditional fitness, climbing specific training, and locker rooms, as well as 500 square feet of climbing retail and a 1,000 square feet of social space with wi-fi, an espresso bar, and beer on tap. The bouldering area will be competition caliber and there will be 2 levels of bouldering.
Here is the first look of a scaled rendering of the finished gym. On their Facebook page, Riverfront gave us a look at the new building which is an attempt to blend “the modern look of hard angles, steel, and lots of glass with the rustic gabled barn with its big timbers, exposed brick and wood floors will create a very unique, aesthetic finished product.” They went on to state that the 3,000 square foot renovated barn will feature a wrap-around porch that will house the reception, cafe, and retail. The 1,500 square foot shed-roof addition will house the traditional fitness equipment, climbing specific training area, and locker rooms. The 5,600 square foot steel span structure will house over 10,000 square feet of rope, boulder, and kid climbing features. It will be 70’x80′ and 45′ tall! When finished, the whole facility will be over 10,000 square feet.
Matthew McKellar, Leavenworth-local and climbing category manager and ski tech at Leavenworth Mountain Sports, is a partner in the project along with several friends: Flint Hartwig, Thanh Van Tran, Mark Shipman, and Stewart Hoover, all Wenatchee Valley locals. McKellar told Icicle.tv how the project came together:
“Every few years there is some local buzz about the possibility of a climbing gym in Wenatchee. Having been in the outdoor industry for over 17 years, some of that buzz comes from credible sources. Obviously, no one committed to building a gym here, but I was confident that the market was close to, if not over, the threshold for a sustainable business model. About one year ago, I started working with a company that operates multiple climbing gyms on a local feasibility assessment. Ultimately, they did not choose the project, but they taught me the key gym metrics. I had a vision and I now knew what it would take to bring it to life. I teamed up with a local group of friends, Flint Hartwig, Thanh Van Tran, Mark Shipman, and Stewart Hoover, all whom have been part of the Wenatchee climbing gym discussion for years. Led by Flint Hartwig, we have the talent, resources, and network necessary to build a world-class climbing gym in central WA.”
Riverfront hopes to open doors by November 2016.
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