Opening its doors for the first time last week was the new Outside-In climbing gym in Beckley, West Virginia near the New River Gorge climbing area. Outside-In is the area’s first and only indoor climbing gym.
Owned and operated by Kevin Traube a long-time Beckley local. Traube is known around town as a tenacious entrepreneur and for finding value in small places. In 1986 he opened Beckley’s first local artisan-based gift shop. Then ten years later he turned the steep, bramble-bedecked hillside behind his shop into a West Virgian themed mini-golf course. He would add to this little piece of land, fresh coffees, roasted and prepared on site, as well as ice cream by the ounce at The Chocolate Moose. To maximize the remaining 20-by-30 square feet of available land behind The Chocolate Moose he decided to create and open Outside-In Climbing.
By his estimation, his multifaceted interests have arisen more from a desire to serve his community than to feed personal obsessions. “I own a miniature golf course, but I’ve never been golfing,” he told the State Journal. “I’m the only person roasting coffee in Beckley, but I was only an occasional coffee drinker. I’ve been climbing in the (New River) Gorge a time or two, but am certainly not a climber.
“I don’t bring these ideas to the community because I’m already experienced in them; rather, I think they could interest a fair number of people so I pursue the idea and learn about it along with everyone else,” he said. “The sweet spot for a small business is to find something sustainable that also offers something to the life of the community.”
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