by Joe Robinson
The climbing facility in downtown Everett, Washington – previously Vertical World Everett – will soon re-open under the new management of Summit Everett LLC. Managing members Daniel Coltrane, Brian Hawkins and Andrew Lange, with the help of non-managing member Jim Brevig, plan to open the gym in late January.
Vertical World operated the facility since 2007 and moved out on November 16th after pressure from the landlord to change from a month-to-month lease. “I just didn’t want to sign a long term lease knowing that I have a new gym coming down the pipe,” says Vertical World president Rich Johnston. That new gym is Vertical World North in Lynnwood, WA, only a 20-minute drive south of Summit Everett towards Seattle. “We did our homework on demographics, and I felt that…Lynnwood would capture a bigger audience than downtown Everett.”
Despite the departure of Vertical World and the close proximity of Vertical World North, Lange still believes Summit Everett will be profitable. “They weren’t leaving because it wasn’t profitable, but because it didn’t fit their business model,” says Lange. “They have a lot of overhead, so you have to have a lot of big gyms to support that.”
“We could have built a bigger climbing gym,” continues Lange, “but then we realized we would be losing one of the things we loved about this gym: a very good neighborhood climbing community.” While not massive, Summit Everett will feature 9,600 square feet of bouldering and top-rope climbing surface with modernized wall designs, brand new Cascade Specialty flooring, color-coordinated routes, a fitness center and a cafe at the front of the gym to enhance the neighborhood feel of the place.
Lange plans to continue improving Summit Everett, with a second phase of renovations scheduled for next summer. “My goal for the gym right now is to bring it into the 21st century,” he said. “My next goal is to try to foster growth in the climbing community situated north of Seattle, to create a place where people want to come and hang out, train, and then go out and have their own adventures. That is what the Cascades are all about.”
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