Brooklyn Boulders settles into Denver office as climbing competition Earth Treks, Movement plan to open gyms nearby

Though its corporate office is growing, Brooklyn Boulders doesn’t yet have a grip on where it plans to put its first Denver-area gym.

Corporal Tyler Bukoski, computer maintainer, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, maneuvers, parallel to the floor, along a wall at a rock climbing gym in Carlsbad, California, June 27, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Emmanuel Ramo)
A rendering of Earth Treks. (Courtesy of CBRE)
A rendering of Earth Treks. (Courtesy of CBRE)

As Brooklyn Boulders prepares to reach the year mark at its new headquarters in RiNo, the company’s competitors are climbing into the Denver market.

Movement Climbing + Fitness is preparing to open a second spot in Denver. And Earth Trek said Monday it will take over the former Sports Authority headquarters to open a new rock climbing gym in Englewood.

Though its corporate office is growing, Brooklyn Boulders doesn’t yet have a grip on where it plans to put its first Denver-area gym. It’s not looking likely the company will open a facility in the Mile High City this year, co-founder Lance Pinn said Monday.

“We immediately tried to find a place when we started coming here,” Pinn said. “I sort of had one lined up. It seemed like a sure thing, so I didn’t really hedge my bets like I would in any other market … but yeah, we’re continuing to look, and we have a few irons in the fire right now.”

Brooklyn Boulders was reportedly close to locking down the facility in RiNo where Movement is planning to open. Pinn declined to talk on the record about the situation.

Brooklyn, the company behind premier rock climbing gyms in New York, Chicago and Somerville, Massachuetts, officially moved its corporate office to Denver last year after being lured to the state by Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office and Global Business Development Division. Brooklyn Boulders’ corporate team has already grown from about three to 17 people and is expected to reach about 40 over the next few years. Including staff that works at the gyms, the company has about 300 employees, according to Pinn.

Brooklyn Boulders gyms tend to be larger and the company focuses on hosting co-working space, talks and even concerts in its spaces. The company hopes to double from four gyms to eight over the next few years.

“We’re sort of in our own little category with all the stuff that we do. We’re at the premium end with $135 as the price point for membership. Your average rock climbing gym is charging about $89,” Pinn said.

A 30-day pass to Earth Treks is $89, according to the Maryland-based company’s website. Earth Treks announced Monday that it plans to open in 2018 its second location in Colorado — after previously opening in Golden — in the former Sports Authority corporate complex in Englewood. The gym is expected to span more than 52,000 square feet making it the largest climbing gym in the United States, according to a news release.

“Consumers today are looking for remarkable experiences. This gym will be a truly amazing place offering our guests a great experience through the combination of our passion for climbing and our 20-plus years of operational experience and design aesthetic,” said Chris Warner, Earth Treks founder and CEO, in a statement.

Pinn said he looks forward to Earth Treks expanding in the area.

“I’m not worried — I think we provide our own unique experience that’s proven itself in other saturated markets like Boston and so I hope I would be welcomed competition to the existing market,” he said.

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Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.