New climbing gym aiming for August opening in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com

New climbing gym aiming for August opening in Steamboat Springs

Justin Dillie is opening Love Climbing Adventures next month in Steamboat Springs. He said he's hoping the shop can become a go-to spot for climbers in Steamboat, as well as a place for rookies to learn to love the sport.

It's a climbing gym at its heart, and inside the northwest Steamboat Springs location, tall grey and blue walls primed to be filled in with climbing holds dominate, pushing up 22 feet into the rafters.

The plans for Justin Dillie, owner of Love Climbing Adventures, don't stop with those walls, however.

Construction of much more was underway Sunday as Dillie gave a tour. There's a room in back that will serve as a more traditional gym, he said, with weights. Another space upstairs would be home to stationary bikes. There's room out front for a small retail operation set to feature not only climbing gear, but also local products of all sorts, Dillie said. There's a wide-open lobby with a spot for a smoothie bar — lower on the finishing priority list, he said, but on it nonetheless — and a nearly complete yoga studio above that. There's even another expansive separate office for which plans are currently less firm.

Dillie's hard at work building what he hopes will become a new fitness focal point for tourists and locals alike in Steamboat Springs.

He said he's close, too. The shop will play host to a Steamboat Springs Colorado Chamber Resort Association ribbon cutting and will use the opportunity for an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. July 31 at the gym, located at 2673 Jacobs Circle, just off Elk River Road and Downhill Drive.

It'll still take some imagination for Monday's visitors to envision the final product. Sawdust lingers on the floor, and ladders lean against walls — they're not a part of the "climbing."

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"It'll all come together quickly," Dillie said, surveying the work ahead.

He's aiming for a true opening Aug. 11.

It's been a long — ahem — climb for him to get this close to opening, about 18 months since he started moving toward a climbing gym in Steamboat.

The initial plan was to put it downtown, on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Ninth Street. He had hoped a deal there was in the works, but said he could never quite reach an official agreement on the rent. So, for the same rent he was hoping to pay downtown, he got triple the square footage on the west end. Whereas the downtown shop would have featured walls of shorter climbing sections focused on bouldering, now, he has those walls, in addition to taller, 22-foot walls and room for everything else he hopes the shop will grow into.

"I really wanted to create a space for the community," he said.

He wants it to be a go-to for Steamboat's current climbing community and a place for more climbers to develop. He also wants it to be a hang-out for local teenagers, helping keep them out of trouble.

"The community really needs it. If you're under 21, there's nothing to do. If you're over 21, there are the bars. This is that thing," he said. "This is a nice atmosphere, and it's a lounge space. You don't have to just climb. You can sit on the mats and watch people climb."

Some of the pricing remains up in the air, but Dillie aims to have a daily pass for the gym run about $35, with a year-long membership available for about $750.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

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