San Diego, California
Specs: 2,500-square-foot bouldering-focused gym in Southern California will feature a 15-foot-tall freestanding boulder, a Grasshopper board, campus rungs, hangboards, a pro shop, and a fitness area with weights and other equipment—but most noticeably, it will all be outdoors.
“We wanted to create a boutique climbing facility with an emphasis on quality movement and high-turnover of boulders,” founder Jordan Romig told CBJ. “We believe the best way to improve climbing skills, especially when focusing on competition climbing, is to be constantly exposed to new routes.”
Romig specifies that the plan, upon opening, is for the gym to set new routes four days a week with the intention of giving patrons new boulders to work on every time they visit. Boulders will stay up for two weeks before being stripped and reset. Romig says that two-week timetable will give people time to project, while also “lighting a little fire under them” to send. And, Romig notes, “If the project doesn’t get sent, that’s totally fine because there will always be new blocks.”
Despite the unique outdoor aspect, the gym will operate like most gyms, in terms of membership scheduling and methodology. A standard membership to the facility will cost $60/month, with day passes planned to run at $20. Members will receive a 10-percent discount in the gym’s pro shop. A “premium membership” offering—for $80/month—will give members four guest passes per month and a 15-percent discount on items from the pro shop.
The target opening date for Asylum is this fall. Romig tells CBJ that there are still investment opportunities, and anyone interested in joining the list of founding members or learning more information can reach out to him personally via email at info[at]climbasylum.com.
Walls and Flooring: OnSite
In Their Words: “I started working on Asylum three years ago and had finally refined the concept for a full-sized gym at the end of 2019. I had property lined up and was planning a 15,000-square-foot facility with indoor bouldering on the main floor and outdoor rooftop bouldering, as well as an outdoor lead climbing area. The idea of having an outdoor climbing gym concept in San Diego just made sense to me since the weather is nearly perfect year-round. Unfortunately, right as I began seeking investment for the project, COVID hit and that made getting any kind of investment nearly impossible. I knew I needed to go back to the drawing board and get creative to keep moving forward during a pandemic—so I scaled the project down and transitioned it to being 100-percent outdoors.”
—Jordan Romig, Founder
John Burgman is the author of High Drama, a book that chronicles the history of American competition climbing. He is a Fulbright journalism grant recipient and a former magazine editor. He holds a master’s degree from New York University and bachelor’s degree from Miami University. In addition to writing, he coaches a youth bouldering team. Follow him on Twitter @John_Burgman and Instagram @jbclimbs. Read our interview Meet John Burgman, U.S. Comp Climbing’s Top Journalist.