Top 6 Cities to Open a Climbing Gym


San Antonio, TX

Population of Metro Area: 2,234,003
Number of Public Climbing Gyms: 1

San Antonio ranks 1st among many other Texas cities that would make a good home for a new climbing gym. The San Antonio area is quickly bouncing back from the great recession, with 2.3% job growth in 2012. And according to “San Antonio has seen 13 consecutive quarters of economic growth and has earned a top ranking among large Texas cities.” In fact the city offers a safe haven in times of economic turmoil with the military, education and health care industries playing a large role in the city’s economy.

San Antonio’s military presence includes Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base and Brooks City-Base. The city is also home to 31 higher education facilities including the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, UT at San Antonio and Texas A&M University–San Antonio, among others. Like most cities on this list San Antonio doesn’t rank among the nations top climbing destinations, but that should hardly matter with over 2 million people currently being served by one small bouldering facility.

The biggest barrier to this market may be the cost of commercial real estate which has been steadily increasing since 2006 with a current industrial real estate asking price of $67 square foot. But again this cost could be quickly offset by the healthy, active, young population begging for a large full-service climbing gym. In a city this large a climbing gym could open just about anywhere and find a waiting clientele.

Climbing Gym Management Series