there's a lot of remodeling going on in the gym.
Can you tell
us what changes are being made and
what it means
for the members?
and foremost, there will be 6000 sq. ft. of new state-of-the-art climbing
walls. Approximately one-third of this terrain will be a dramatic, new,
full-height climbing wall. There will also be 500 sq. ft. of Eldorado
Wall's "Real Rock" product. This feature will give our members the most
natural indoor climbing experience available.
Also, with this remodel the
gym will be gaining an additional 2000 sq. ft. of bouldering (the current
bouldering cave is 1600 sq. ft.) and a mezzanine instructional level
complete with a half-dozen state-of-the-art crack features from fingers
to fists. This mezzanine level will allow us to better meet the instructional
and training needs of individuals and groups.
FRB: We noticed that the lobby and the landscaping
in the front
of the building are also being transformed.
and staff have been asking for some time to have the lobby and locker
rooms remodeled, so we're accommodating that long-time request. We're
opening the lobby up quite a bit, and it will be a much nicer place
to come into. The front desk staff will be able to have visual contact
with the gym. Also, the addition of a meeting room adjoining the lobby
will be part of this project. This room will be used for a variety of
instructional classes the club is planning to offer this fall.
The south side of the building
is in the process of being completely re-landscaped to include an outdoor
bouldering area featuring a 500 sq. ft. boulder. This boulder will allow
our members to enjoy the great outdoors while training.
FRB: What about the lighting or lack thereof at the club?
Scott: We've contracted with
a lighting consultant and we have a complete plan to brighten things
up quite a bit. In addition to artificial light, we're putting in glass
doors where steel doors used to be on the west wall of the gym.
FRB: Are you going to have a restaurant/cafe
at the BRC?
Scott: No, we investigated this
option early on and determined that it would be best if we stayed focused
on providing the very best climbing experience that we can. At some
point, we may offer smoothies, etc., but there are no near-term plans
for that right now.
FRB: We heard that over the last 6 months 2 talented
have chosen to move on. What is
on route setting at the rock club?
Scott: Yes, we lost 2 of our
4 route setters. Terry Picotte and Von Cousin are still with us. We've
recently added Eric Cutler, Tony Yao, Eli Lang, Dale Remsberg and Charlie
Boas to our route setting team. All of these guys are well trained and
have lots of experience in route setting. As one example, Dale Remsberg
was the head route setter for 5 years at Vertical World in Seattle,
one of the nation's largest climbing gyms.
Both John Bicknell, the owner
of the rock club, and I understand the importance of providing Boulder
Rock Club members with the very best in route setting. We've made a
commitment to increasing route turnover and we're greatly expanding
our hold inventory. I think we've put together the best route setting
All Boulder Rock Club staff
are doing our best to make sure that we're meeting the needs of all
the climbers training in the gym.
FRB: Is the Boulder Rock Club up for sale?
Scott: No, the club has lost
money for the last few years and it wouldn't make economic sense to
sell it at this time.
FRB: Who's running the gym these days?
am. In April I assumed responsibility for the day-to-day management
of the Boulder Rock Club as well as the Colorado Mountain School located
in Estes Park. Both these businesses are owned by my climbing partner,
FRB: So you're a climber then?
Scott: Yes. Not so much lately
though. I've been busy getting all these remodel changes in place. It
will be nice to get back to it when the dust settles.
I grew up in Boulder, but I didn't start climbing till
I was 30 and living in the Bay Area. Over the past 15 years, I've climbed
and trekked in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and throughout North
FRB: Is the Colorado Mountain School
still a part
of the Boulder Rock?
Scott: Even more so than ever
before. John and I are both very focused on integrating the 2 businesses.
We definitely want a more unified company - a company that provides
total climbing services; courses, climbs, expeditions, skill, training,
and guiding. We need to think of ourselves not as the Boulder Rock Club
or Colorado Mountain School, but as the total climbing solution.
Our objective is to provide
a seamless climbing curriculum with as little transition as possible
from the Boulder Rock Club to the Colorado Mountain School. We are calling
the combined companies Total Climbing. In fact, we now own the website
totalclimbing.com. The idea is that our members and clients will hardly
feel the difference whether they're inside or outside. We have so much
climbing expertise within this company. It's really quite amazing.
FRB: What will be the best thing about the
new changes at
Scott: One great aspect of the
integration of the 2 companies is having the Colorado Mountain School
staff much more involved in many aspects of the gym. These are some
of the most highly-certified, knowledgeable people in the climbing industry.
Many of our members will benefit from their knowledge and perspective.
Obviously, the physical changes
to the building inside and out are significant upgrades. By modern gym
standards, the Boulder Rock Club was ready for a face lift. The current
remodel and our future expansion plans are really exciting. The combination
of physical changes, an outstanding staff, and an active, talented membership
base will continue to make the Boulder Rock Club a leader in indoor
FRB: When do you expect the construction dust to settle?
good news is that we're ahead of schedule. We originally targeted November
1 to be the completion date for all aspects of the remodel. Believe
it or not, members will actually be climbing on the new high wall by
the end of this month. At this point, November 1 is still our official
date, but we're going to try our best to beat that.
FRB: There have been all kinds of rumors flying around
community regarding the rock club over
the last 6 months.
Do you care to address them?
Scott: Well, there have been
so many rumors it's hard to address them all. I've heard everything
from "we're closing the doors tomorrow" to "we're never going to set
a new route" to "I'm a bean counter". I can tell you this. Anyone who
knows me would never describe me as an accountant.
However, for the past several
years the rock club has lost money and its cost structure had gotten
completely out of whack. For a variety of reasons, change was necessary
and change is always hard for everyone involved.
The past few months have been
difficult, but I think we're now beginning to work on moving forward
- and that's always more positive and fun! We remain committed to the
BRC - we're investing over $750,000 this year alone in facility upgrades.
Most of the BRC staff is still here and remains committed to providing
outstanding route setting and service.
I believe climbing is a great
thing for people. I know how much it's meant and done for me. I'm excited
about bringing about the changes that will allow the Boulder Rock Club
and Colorado Mountain School to survive and thrive. I have an open door
policy. I invite with ideas for advancing these companies to share them
FRB: Thanks for the update on the Boulder Rock Club, Scott.
Scott: You're welcome. Thank you.