Know the Hurdles Before Building a Rock Climbing Gym or Other Facility

Opening a rock climbing gym can be a huge, but inspiring endeavor. Designing walls and flooring and engaging contractors to perform the build out. Selecting holds, ropes, shoes, belaying equipment, and crash pads, and then contracting with various manufacturers and industry players for this equipment. These are the many decisions and hurdles a climbing start-up company will face.

All of these checklist items are illuminated in full if the facility is developed from the ground up (instead of through leasing warehouse or other large space). The task of simply building the facility may be fraught with hidden obstructions and liabilities not always contemplated by passionate entrepreneurs.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: It is Easy to Get Stuck
In downtown Twin Falls, Idaho, an aspiring gym’s owners learned how difficult it can be to predict the type of hidden liabilities and hurdles that development brings. Soon-to-be owners of Gemstone Climbing Center bought land “as is” for dirt cheap ($1) through an urban development program sponsored by an Idaho Urban Renewal Agency (“URA”). But, when Gemstone’s developers got to work, they discovered large masses of concrete buried almost a dozen feet underground. Gemstone incurred $40,000 in extra costs (not to mention delays) to have its developers remove the concrete hunks from the development property. Now, Gemstone seeks to have URA reimburse it for its extra costs.

URA board members have not yet agreed to reimburse the costs. On the one hand, Gemstone believes the URA failed to disclose the condition of the property prior to the sale. But the URA has taken the position that it sold the property “as is” for $1 and that condition and price tag mean that all risks were shifted to Gemstone completely as a risk of doing business. The URA board has tabled its decision for now so that it can do further review of the property’s history and perhaps offer other alternatives to a complete reimbursement. Stay tuned for further details!

Ensure You Have the Right Tools and Plan
Like with any adventure, having the right plan and gear is critical to success. It’s important to note that whether you are a developer, current gym owner, aspiring gym owner, or other entrepreneur seeking to build a recreational facility, there are hidden risks to all business ventures. There are steps you can take on the front end to prevent costly discoveries later. Our lawyers know the outdoor industry because we also play in it with you during our time off. Our legal experience and experience in the sports and outdoor recreation industry allow us to help you navigate the hurdles. Be sure to reach out before you decide to start your lifestyle business.