Former Sports Authority HQ in Englewood to become country’s largest climbing gym
Earth Treks plans more gyms in Front Range’s growing supply of vacant big box stores
May 1, 2017
Englewood — Chris Warner, one of the world's most accomplished alpinists, has a plan for the country's growing number of abandoned big box stores: climbing gyms. And he's starting with the headquarters of what was once the nation's largest sporting goods retailer.
"We have been seeking out those kinds of spaces forever, and almost always landlords wouldn't even want to hear our pitch.They were intrigued by our use, but they couldn't get past the fact that we weren't as a good of a credit tenant as, say, a Best Buy or something," Warner said. "Now they look at those kinds of places thinking they don't want to sign a lease because they are probably going to be bankrupt in two years. Now they are saying, 'Well, let me get this knucklehead climbing gym guy instead.' "
Warner's Earth Treks, with climbing centers in Virginia, Maryland and Golden, is beginning construction of a climbing gym in the sprawling former Sports Authority headquarters in Englewood, at the corner of Hampden Avenue and South Santa Fe Drive. When it opens this year, the 52,000-square-foot climbing and fitness facility will be the country's largest indoor rock gym.