Oklahoma City, OK.
Metro Area Population: 1,296,565
Number of public climbing gyms: 1
OK City may not be the first to come to mind when thinking about opening a climbing gym, and you may need to do a lot of marketing to a local population that is unfamiliar with the sport. That being said, the midwest offers the single biggest untapped market potential in the country.
In an interview with NPR , Mick Cornett, head of the Republican Mayors Association and Mayor of Oklahoma City, said, “Highly educated 20-somethings are moving to Oklahoma City in large numbers. The Kauffman Foundation recently disclosed that we were the most entrepreneurial city in the country, most start-ups per capita. And so if you have the bright and the young and the talented moving to your city, that’s a great labor pool that your entrepreneurs and job creators are going to be able to tap into.”
All though a gym in OKC may not become the next training ground for the next generation of rock climbing phenoms (you never know!) it will produce a sizeable return on investment. The city’s low cost of living, friendly tax incentives and low square foot costs (industrial $53 and going up, office $91 and going down) combined with over 30,000 University of Oklahoma students, low unemployment and a friendly business environment, makes OKC a solid bet for any sized climbing facility.
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