The Eagle-Vail Area Gets its First Climbing Gym
After a slew of gym openings in the Denver area, the often forgotten Western Slope of Colorado finally gets their own state of the art gym.
Article Sponsored by Entre-Prises
Q&A with Larry Moore, Managing Owner
Grew up in: Denver, CO
Currently lives: Eagle, CO
Job Title: Managing Owner
Other Experience: AMGA Certified Instructor, Professional Climbing Guide, and USA Climbing Coach
First, congratulations on the grand opening! How long of a process was this?
Thanks! I began working on the original concept eight years ago, and we started on our final design almost three years ago, broke ground in November 2017 and opened our doors November 10, 2018.
What made you want to open a climbing gym in Eagle, Colorado?
I started my climbing guiding business in the Vail Valley 16 years ago, and developed a climbing team of 75 children out of a tiny gym, which we quickly outgrew. After realizing the potential for a climbing gym in the area, my wife and I moved to Eagle, as this was the most logical location for a gym in our valley.
What feature of the gym are you most proud of?
Tough question, all of it! We were fortunate enough to have an incredible team of consultants, including Jamie Logan, Chris Danielson, and Anne-Worley and Mike Moelter, to help us create a first-class facility. From custom air filtration and HVAC systems, adjustable wall systems, a children’s climbing room and high-end details throughout the facility, we are proud of the entire facility.
What is the key ingredient to creating a fun and supportive climbing culture in your gym?
A high quality, professional and friendly staff, a variety of educational and social offerings, comfy couches, multitudes of educational opportunities through our extensive class and workshop schedule, and various social events, including competitions, film premieres, lecture series and slideshows.
What were some unseen challenges?
Delays in construction pushed back our opening two months. Plus the internet went down for two days during our first week, making liability waivers, membership sales and guest check-ins extremely challenging.
What do you hope this gym does for the community?
Our motto is “Building Strength in Our Community” and we strive to do this through bringing people together in our facility and providing opportunities to learn, grow and have fun with friends and family.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen in your lost and found box?
A single shoe.
What is your relationship with USA climbing?
We have been hosting USA Climbing competitions in our old facility for the past 16 years and we will continue to host competitions in our new facility. Additionally, we coordinate 70+ volunteers and judges for the World Cup event in Vail every June.
What is the age of your oldest member?
Currently 60, but our Golden Eagles program hopes to attract even older crusty climbers.
What is the age of your youngest member?
3 years old.
What do you attribute to the overwhelming surge in popularity for indoor climbing?
The high-quality climbing walls and holds being produced, the modern design of facilities which provide all of the amenities for guests, the popularity of climbing for children and the overall exposure of our sport through major media outlets and the Olympics on the horizon.
Do you have any youth programs planned? If so, is that a big priority for you?
Huge priority! We have established an amazing community of families through our children’s programs and designed our facility to provide opportunities for children that do not interfere with the adult experience.
Why did you end up working with Entre-Prises?
Because of their reputation as being the best in the industry and under the recommendation of our advisors.
What are your short- and long-term goals for the gym?
Short term we desire to create a strong reputation in the industry and our community, and long-term we have a goal of expanding our facility.
How excited are you for the upcoming Olympics and all the attention it will give to indoor gyms?
We believe this will be a strong source of growth for indoor gyms, as the sport will be exposed at a whole new level. Already we’ve noticed the popularity of our speed wall because of the fact that it will be a discipline in the Olympics.