Where To Open a Bouldering gym

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Photo: russellbrammer.com

After reading CBJ’s list of Top Cities to Open a Climbing Gym many readers wanted to know where to open a bouldering-only gym. So we put our best researchers on the task and came up with 24 cities that could make an ideal home for a bouldering gym.

While both traditional gyms and bouldering gyms offer climbing to their members, the differences between these two types of facilities is vast. The business plan for a bouldering gym is sufficiently different — from its staffing plan, building requirements and marketing strategy — that bouldering gyms deserve their own list of top cities.

Bouldering gyms are particularly attractive to college age climbers that enjoy the social aspect of climbing as much, or more, than the athletic aspect. Many of these customers are not likely to visit a traditional rope gym where they have to bring a belay parter or climb solo on auto belays.

One of the main benefits to opening a bouldering gym is the lower capital and on-going costs. The start-up costs are significantly lower due to building space, building modification and equipment costs, and once the facility is operational the number of employees needed to supervise climbers, instruct first-time customers and manage parties is much lower. They can also fit into urban areas where 60 foot tall gyms are not allowed by zoning.

Take a look at our list and then start writing that business plan.