Summer Gym Round Up

Inside Hollywood Boulders. Photo: Touchstone

The summer is shaping up to be a busy one for gym operators. Here’s a quick round up of just a few of the climbing gyms that are expanding their footprint, getting ready to break ground or just opening their doors for business.

Planet Granite

The Bay-area based climbing gym developer is firmly planting their flag in the Chicago area with the announcement that they will build two full-size climbing facilities in the city. The two gyms will be the largest in the PG fleet and total 85,000 square feet of space.

PG also hinted at a third Chicago location in a recent press release: “There is a good community of climbers in the Northwest corridor along Milwaukee and we hope to have an announcement about a third facility there soon,” says Stephanie Ko Pound, Sr. Dir. of Marketing. “Our goal is to open a pod of facilities in the Northwest quadrant of Chicago to give a similar variety of climbing as we offer with our three Bay Area facilities.”

Bolder Climbing


The word “gym” doesn’t seem like the right word to describe the type of facility that Vital likes to open. With their meticulously designed spaces, boutique bouldering lounge might be a better descriptor. Their newest facility, and fourth for the company opened this month in Oceanside, California and is the perfect example of Vital’s unique philosophy.

The new Vital in Oceanside, CA.
The new Vital in Oceanside, CA.

Co-founders David Sacher and Nam Phan told Onside News:

“Nam likes to build things” said David “David likes to design things.” added Nam. Between the two, Vital Gym is a very aesthetically pleasing place. Roll up doors instead of windows to open up the place and let the ocean breeze flow through. Attractive lighting highlights the paneling and the custom self-built furniture and fixtures along with a kitchen, showers and a traditional weight machine area. Upstairs you will find a loft which includes a library, a meeting room for parties and a place for relaxation or just watch people bouldering plus a cardio area. “It’s an environment where members can feel like they have a second home. Obviously we don’t want people to live here but with the 24 hour access, you can be part of a community in a really comfortable environment.”

Adventure Rock

Climbers line up for some fresh climbing at Adventure Rock.  Photo:
Climbers line up for some fresh climbing at Adventure Rock. Photo:

As early as 1 a.m. on June 18th, climbers were waiting in line to get their chalky fingers on the dozens of new climbing routes spread out over 16,000 square feet and up walls as high as 42 feet at the new Adventure Rock – Milwaukee location.

As CBJ reported earlier, Ad Rock’s newest facility is a one-of-a-kind project that combines urban living with urban fitness all under one roof.


Touchstone opened their eleventh location and their third bouldering-only facility called Hollywood Boulders in Hollywood, California earlier this month. The brightly colored, beautifully designed space is the company’s latest foray into the lucrative Los Angeles climbing market.

Inside Hollywood Boulders. Photo: Touchstone
Inside Hollywood Boulders. Photo: Touchstone

Touchstone also just announced a massive expansion of their extremely popular Dogpatch bouldering gym in San Francisco by moving into the neighboring space.

And, phase 2 is about to be finished at the Cliffs of Id location in Culver City. This includes adding lead and top rope walls to the already expansive bouldering area.

Central Rock

The silent giant, Central Rock recently announced a new location will be built in Warwick, Rhode Island south of Providence. This new 20,000 square foot facility will mark the company’s seventh, which puts them as the third largest developer in the US by number of locations and second largest by total climbing square footage.

Sport Rock

The Virginia-based climbing gym is taking on two massive expansions of both of their facilities in Alexandria and Sterling.

Rockfish Climbing

Up in Whitefish, Canada a group of climbers are bring a bouldering gym to a local mall. The 24-hour climbing gym will cater to all ages and abilities, and include more than 3,000 square feet of climbing surface up to 14 feet high.