New South Dakota Gym Opens After Pandemic Shakes Things Up

Klinghagen and his father designed and built Climberz' bouldering walls.
Inside Climberz, the new South Dakota gym opening during COVID-19
Although far from ideal, the pandemic allowed owner Travis Klinghagen more time to put finishing touches on the gym’s interior. All images courtesy of Climberz

Tea, South Dakota

Specs: 4,100-square-foot bouldering facility opened on June 1st, a date that was pushed back a few months as a result of the pandemic. The facility will include amenities such as a pro shop with gear and snacks, a “Climbers’ Lounge” with ample casual seating, a Tension Board and adjustable spray wall, as well as an all-purpose fitness area with hangboards, elastic bands, and kettlebells. The gym will also include a party space, although the area will be closed at first due to COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Retail chalk from Chalk Cartel


The party space of Climberz
The gym offers space for climbing and also parties, the latter of which will be on hold at first.

Walls & Flooring: The bouldering walls were homemade by the owner and his father, and the padded flooring was provided by Minnesota-based Perfect Landing.
CRM Software: Rock Gym Pro

In Their Words: “My family and my friends and the outdoors have always brought life into my life. That’s the great thing about climbing—first, the whole family can do it, and second, I haven’t made more friends in any other activity as quickly and easily as I have with climbing. That all transfers into this gym. In South Dakota, especially on the east side, it’s very flat and there aren’t a lot of options for climbing. So, an indoor setup really works out pretty well. But it also goes into the lifestyle that I want to create and the journey that I want to go down in building a community—making it so that I can feed that outdoorsiness to be happy in my life.”
—Travis Klinghagen, Owner

[To read a full interview with Klinghagen on what it’s like to open a new gym during a pandemic, click here.]