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Indoor rock-climbing gym in Meridian, traditional fitness gym in Boise in the works

Tyson Gray, right, co-owner of Vertical View Climbing Gym in Meridian, climbs a wall at an indoor gym in Golden, Colorado. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.
Tyson Gray, right, co-owner of Vertical View Climbing Gym in Meridian, climbs a wall at an indoor gym in Golden, Colorado. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.

Two new gyms are coming to Ada County, including one for rock climbers.

Tyler Pape and Tyson Gray hope their Meridian gym will fill a void left when Urban Ascent closed in April after seven years in business. The closure left the Treasure Valley without a full-fledged indoor rock-climbing gym with high walls.

Meanwhile, a traditional Planet Fitness gym is planned for the former Tai Pan Trading spot at 1123 N. Milwaukee St. in Boise.

The new climbing gym

Pape and Gray aim to begin construction this fall on Vertical View Climbing Gym near the intersection of Overland and Locust Grove roads in Meridian. They are working to obtain permits from the city of Meridian and hope to have their gym open next summer at 1334 E. Bird Dog Drive.

The four-story Vertical View building — what the partners say will be Idaho’s largest rock climbing gym — will include a variety of climbing walls with heights of 20 feet up to 65 feet. It will feature 200 climbing routes and a speed wall where climbers can race against each other.

“We expect to have all sorts of sports enthusiasts come to the gym,” Pape said. “A lot of the valley’s resident climbers have already expressed their interest, and, on top of that, we hope to introduce a lot of the Treasure Valley to the sport of climbing.”

The gym will offer classes for beginning and intermediate climbers. There will also be a workout floor with cardio equipment, free weights, bicycle spin classes and yoga studios, along with an open patio and juice bar.

Pape, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from BYU-Idaho, began climbing indoor rock walls at Urban Ascent when he was a teenager at Mountain View High School. He also climbs outdoors.

Urban Ascent closed in April after seven years at 308 S. 25th St. in Boise. The land, owned by the city, is where Adare Manor, a 134-unit apartment complex for people with low and moderate incomes, is being built.

“If you travel in most other places around the country you will find massive rock climbing gyms in every major city,” Pape said.

There are options:

Asana Climbing Gym, at 4977 N. Glenwood St. in Garden City, is a bouldering gym, where climbers can scale shorter walls without a rope or harness.

The Wings Center, at 1875 Century Way in Boise, offers climbing walls but focuses on groups, parties and special events.

Boise State University offers a bouldering wall and a roped wall but is limited to BSU students.

The Treasure Valley YMCA offers climbing walls at its Downtown Boise, West Boise and Caldwell gyms.

The Planet Fitness gym

The Boise Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a hearing at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, at City Hall, to consider application for a conditional use permit, required for an indoor recreational facility in the C-4 commercial zone. The hearing will take place in the council chambers at city hall, 150 N. Capitol Blvd.

TGE Enterprises, a franchise group based in Londonderry, New Hampshire, filed an application with the city of Boise.

Chuck Landry, construction director for TGE, said the company hopes be open during the first half of 2019. The company caters mostly to people who have not had a gym membership previously, Landry said.

Planet Fitness operates more than 1,600 gyms in several nations. It has one in Boise at 5010 W. Overland Road. It operated a small one in Garden City that closed last September. The Milwaukee Street location has 30,345 square feet.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell.
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