It was recently announced that Stone Gardens, a mainstay in the climbing gym scene in Washington’s Puget Sound area, has joined Edgeworks Climbing + Fitness. Altogether, the gyms offer more than 56,000 square feet of climbing surface at three locations and form what is reportedly “the largest single footprint of climbing gyms in the Puget Sound,” according to the announcement on the Stone Gardens and Edgeworks websites. Starting in November, a membership will grant climbers access to all three gyms.
Founded in 1995 by Keith Magnuson, Stone Gardens is among the earliest climbing gyms to open in the Pacific Northwest. After opening its first facility in Ballard (North Seattle)―which features over 17,500 square feet of climbing surface, a 45-foot lead roof and 40-foot outdoor wall―Stone Gardens added a second location in nearby Bellevue in 2011 with over 21,000 square feet of climbing terrain. After 25 years, Magnuson decided the time was right to sell the gyms and started looking for potential buyers.
“We started Stone Gardens in 1995 with help from the local climbing community and it grew from there,” said Magnuson. ”In 2011 we opened our second gym with the first Walltopia walls on the West Coast and one of the first to locate in a mall. We were in the process of starting our third gym when the virus hit, so we bailed on that after spending a substantial sum of money and I decided it was time for me to retire. Stone Gardens is now in the capable hands of Tod Bloxham and the Edgeworks Climbing + Fitness crew. I look forward to seeing this combination grow. As for me: It’s been a great ride and now all I have to do is avoid the old folks home.”
Edgeworks is located in Tacoma and was reportedly the first indoor climbing gym to open in the city when it was founded by Bloxham in 2004. Himself an AMGA/IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide, Bloxham’s first location offers a wide array of outdoor climbing, guiding services, instruction, youth programs and fitness classes in addition to 17,000 square feet of indoor climbing. Also the former CEO of Rock Gym Pro before the key departures last Spring, as owner Bloxham will oversee all three gyms.
“At the start of the COVID pandemic, we had an intent of coming out of the pandemic stronger than we entered,” Bloxham told CBJ. “We have always looked to reinvest our efforts, growing and creating opportunities for our community and staff―this included commitments to our staff during our COVID closure, facility improvements and expansion, to program growth and development. The opportunity to acquire Stone Gardens definitely fits this category of growth that will put Edgeworks and Stone Gardens, our employees, and our community in a stronger position than we were before.”
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