THE LARGEST CLIMBING GYM CHAINS IN THE USA AND EUROPE
The best affirmation for a job well-done is a client who returns to us again. Many of our clients operate a single climbing gym and, in this case, of course, no matter how satisfied they are with our work, they have no reason to contact us again. Others, however, operate chains of climbing gyms. It is an honor and pleasure for us to work with them again and again. The fact that they return to us for more than one or two projects gives us a reason to feel proud with our work and to be sure that the product we provide is of top quality. We work with climbing gym chains in the USA, Australia, France, Spain, Finland, the UK, Malaysia and others. Here are some of the chains with the most numerous climbing gyms in their area.
THE LARGEST CLIMBING GYM CHAIN IN EUROPE: CLIMB UP
Owned by a former climbing world champion Francois Petit, Climb Up gyms are part of a chain with 25 locations throughout France. After trusting us for the first time in 2015 with the Bouc-Bel-Air facility, Francois assigned the next 8 climbing gyms to Walltopia.
“I think that Walltopia is the best climbing wall company in the world. Your work is very professional and you always manage to meet the deadlines.”
Francois Petit, world climbing champion and owner of Climb Up
THE LARGEST CLIMBING GYM CHAIN IN THE USA
Planet Granite is a part of a climbing gym chain with 16 locations in Oregon, Colorado, California, Virginia and Maryland. Property of El Cap – owned by Tengram Capital Partners private equity fund, the brands of gyms they operate are Earth Treks, Planet Granite and Movement. This is one of the first examples in the history of the climbing industry when a private equity fund has shown interest in climbing gyms, seeing them as a profitable business model. Originally launched separately, after the merger of the three brands under El Cap in 2018, they became the largest chain in the United States and one of the few that operate not just in more than one state, but in states all over the country – on the east and west coasts and in the central states.
For the last 7 facilities in their portfolio, including the largest climbing wall in the United States to date, they trusted Walltopia.
“In the last 6 years we have actually built 7 locations with Walltopia. Their ability to faithfully provide a wall design that is cutting edge, on time and enriching to the community, is truly a step above all their competitors.”
Central Rock Gym operates 15 locations in the North East part of the United States, and that makes them the second largest chain of climbing gyms in the United States.
Based in Boston, Central Rock has facilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York, and 8 of the 15 locations have been built by Walltopia. In partnership with our clients from Central Rock, we also sponsor the Waypoint Adventure Foundation – a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to challenge youth and adults with disabilities to discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure.
Touchstone Climbing is a special client for Walltopia. Over the years the professional relationship has grown into a friendship. Each project takes more than a year from conceptual design to installation, and as Adam Koberna, president of the US branch of Walltopia, says, “It’s better if we like and tolerate each other since we are going to communicate quite often throughout the whole time.” In the course of work, surprises and challenges of various kind and origin inevitably appear on both sides, but our work together in 10 out of Touchstone’s 13 locations has built communication that gets everything resolved smoothly. Often the successful project completion ends with a drink in a pleasant atmosphere in the US or Bulgaria.
“We like working with Walltopia a lot. We think that they match us as a company – they are innovative, they come up with solutions, they are like us where they are constantly seeking to evolve, change and make themselves better and we appreciate that,” shares Jeffrey Bowling, Touchstone’s business development manager.
The franchise model is still gaining popularity in the climbing business around the world. However, Indoorwall Centers in Spain have adopted it for a long time now and successfully operate a large number of climbing gyms in the country. A signature feature of their gyms are the uniquely designed children’s climbing areas, as shown in the photo, created at Walltopia by architect Ivan Zhivkov.
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