LONGMONT — If the stresses of modern life are driving you up a wall, there’s a place in Longmont where you can scale that wall literally. And bigger climbing facilities are coming, both to Longmont and Greeley.
The owners of the Longmont Climbing Collective, open since 2018 at 33 S. Pratt Parkway, are building a larger facility at 155 Pinnacle St., across Colorado Highway 119 from the Sandstone Ranch recreation area. Founder Bryan Hylenski said construction began there in August and the center should be open by next August, adding that work on a Greeley facility at 1510 Eighth Ave. would begin next spring and likely be completed by fall or winter 2023.
Boosted by a $7,000 grant from the Longmont Economic Development Partnership as part of its Advance Longmont Targeted Industries grant program as well as a $3,000 LEDP startup grant, the collective’s business opened in March 2018 in a space that once housed Cheese Importers before it moved to First Avenue and Main Street.
The 15,000-square-foot facility contains a 15-foot bouldering wall, whereas the new 25,000-square-foot building east of Longmont will have the bouldering wall as well as a 50- to 58-foot-tall climbing wall, Hylenski said, Also planned in the new building are a youth climbing zone, taproom, fitness equipment, training area, yoga studio, retail climbing shop and sauna. Outside the building, the owners plan space for food trucks, a certified speed wall and an event center for climbing competitions, outdoor music and community festivals.
The Greeley facility will be built in a space that started in 1954 as a movie theater before becoming the University of Northern Colorado’s Foundation Hall. UNC closed that space when its Campus Commons project was completed and sold it in 2017 to the developer Richmark, owned by the Richardson family as part of its plan to buy and redevelop a string of tracts along Eighth Avenue.
Hylenski said the Greeley center would be 15,000 to 20,000 square feet and, like the new Longmont building, would house both climbing and bouldering walls as well as fitness and yoga rooms.
Once both the Longmont and Greeley facilities are open, Hylenski said, they will be rebranded as The Climbing Collective at Longmont and The Climbing Collective at Greeley.
The “collective” behind the business consists of Bryan and Shauna Hylenski, Aaron and Heather Tellier, Mack Maier and Heeran Joe.
Bryan Hylenski originally moved to Colorado from his native Delaware in 1997, then took off in 2003 to climb full-time at various places around the world including the Himalayas. He returned to Longmont in 2015.
“I had always wanted to open a gym,” he said, “and that’s sort of where this came from.”
He opened a business in 2015 that sells the Korean-made Butora brand of climbing shoes, then looked around with Maier for a spot to open a climbing facility.
The collective sells day passes and monthly memberships for adults and children, and also partners with other businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants and breweries so their employees can use the facilities.
Looking ahead, Hylenski said, “we’d like to have three or four gyms in Northern Colorado where folks of all demographics can learn how to climb and join our community.”