Boulder is known for attracting top athletes due to its wonderful recreational areas in the surrounding areas. In particular, climbing enthusiasts love what this place has to offer, and there is no shortage of them seeking to conquer a new route or solve a new problem.
But, sometimes either the weather doesn't cooperate or time is short. That’s where The Spot, the first bouldering gym in the United States comes in. Opened in 2002, Scott Rennak, marketing director of The Spot, described the creation of the gym as a way to accommodate the expanding market of many local climbers hoping to get their hands on some problems... so to speak. "The Spot was opened to serve the growing climbing segment of bouldering. These days there are dozens of bouldering gyms across the country, so we must have been onto something," he said. Former Neptune Mountaineering employee, Dan Howley, The Spot’s current general manager, spearheaded the effort for over two years before the gym opened with the help of additional business sponsors.
The gym has changed quite a bit since those opening days, expanding to accomodate their growing customer base. "We've constantly added to the facility with new walls and are always growing our community through events and competitions," says Rennak. "Through two big wall expansions called the Dojo and the Beach we've nearly doubled our square footage since opening day. We've also been on the forefront of padding systems, launching in 2002 with a proprietary flooring system, and most recently installed a $180K Futurist Climbing flooring last summer. Community-wise, we host many grassroots events that further bring the Bouldering climbing community together."
While Rennak stated that there are many bouldering gyms around the country these days, The Spot offers some truly one of a kind elements. "Our top-out boulders that are sculpted to look like real rock are extremely unique. We also have hosted more National Bouldering Championships than any other gym in the United States.”
With its success, the Spot has always made sure to have something for everyone, noting the wide variety of experience and skill level from climber to climber. "Anyone can benefit from bouldering, and we are setup for every level of climber," says Rennak. "Thousands of people have learned to climb at The Spot. We love watching new climbers develop their strength and skills in the gym, and then seeing them go out and crush outdoor climbs. We also have great terrain for the seasoned professional, and it's not uncommon to see U.S. Team members and media-famous climbers pulling down here."
New bouldering problems are set every week on The Spot’s 15,000 square feet of terrain. First timers are more than welcome. "You don't need to know anything," says Rennak. "Just come try climbing! It's an innate activity for a human; you probably climbed all over the place when you were a kid. Come in and join us and tap into that inner child!"
Winters tend to be the busiest time at the gym, but they do see a consistent stream of customers all year. "We do have steady year round business, although winters are busiest because of the difficult outdoor conditions of the season. In the same regard, we get a lot of folks that train with us in the summer to avoid the heat and enjoy our cool AC," says Rennak.
Day passes and memberships are available. The bouldering gym is open to even the youngest of enthusiasts with after school programs and competition teams. "Our members enjoy great benefits like guest passes for friends, trade days at other local rock gyms, and free skills and strengths workshops," says Rennak.
For hours and additional info, head to their website.