ST. GEORGE — Contact Climbing Gym held a groundbreaking ceremony early Friday afternoon to signal the beginning of construction on St. George’s first full-service climbing gym.
Contact Climbing Gym is expected to be 18,000 square feet with 50-foot climbing walls and 12,000 square feet of roped climbing walls. The gym will also include 3,000 square feet of bouldering with 14-foot walls, a yoga and fitness studio and cardio and weight room.
“It’s going to look unlike anything that’s in Washington County,” Business representative Chris Bourdrero said.
The partners behind the project hired Watts Construction as the general contractor for the gym. Watts Construction is partnering with MRW Design to assist in the building’s plans.
Gym co-owner Jeff Compas said it’s been a long process that has involved a number of people to get to this point. He said the St. George Planning Commission has been “tremendously gracious” throughout the entire experience.
“As we initially began this project and talked about building a building that was going to be 60 feet tall, nobody even raised their eyebrows at us,” Compas said. “They all kind of nodded, kind of patted us on the head and allowed us to think really carefully about it.”
Compas hopes the gym can be a place for all types of people, from professional climbers to students looking to try something new.
Besides its social and fitness benefits, Compas said the gym also brings an economic advantage to the area. In 2017, climbing contributed over $12 billion to the U.S. economy, with about 87% coming from travel-related expenses, according to the American Alpine Club Annual State of Climbing Report.
“As we look around and we see the red hills and we see the beautiful blue sky, we think about what a blessing it is to live in such a wonderful place,” Compas said. “We wanted to make this facility an opportunity for people to come here and share in the beautiful things that we all enjoy so much.”
St. George City Manager Adam Lenhard spoke at the event, congratulating the owners on their ability to make it through the city’s long process.
“It’s certainly a lot of work … but I think you’re going to be pretty happy with the end result,” he said.
Contact Climbing Gym is expected to open its doors in spring 2020. Over 400 residents have already contacted the gym to sign up for a membership.
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