Things continue to move ahead. We have a logo now, as you can see to the right, or on the gym’s nascent web site. The lease negotiations with the landlord appear to be nearing a conclusion, and we’re close enough that the loan application has now been submitted for approval based on the latest lease proposal. The bids came in last week from the 4 climbing wall building companies. I’ve narrowed it down to two of them, and will try to come to a decision between them within the next few days. Both are great companies, and I know I can’t go wrong with either of them, but the choice is a tough one. I’m still awaiting proposals from 2 architects on the non-climbing areas of the gym (changerooms, etc.).
So with all of that brewing, it’s time for a road trip! I’m off in the morning to San Francisco, for a whirlwind tour of many of the climbing gyms out there. The Bay Area has two major chains of climbing gyms: Touchstone and Planet Granite, and I plan to visit at least a couple of each of their facilities. I’ll also visit a few of the other independent gyms, stopping in at as many as 8 gyms in all. The goal of the trip is to collect as many design ideas as I can, in preparation for planning what True North Climbing will look like. Every time I go to a new gym, I see things I really like, and maybe a few things I don’t like so much, and I learn something new. This is great timing to fill my head with ideas, and then come back and get to work with whichever wall company I’ve chosen to play with designs for the new facility.
When I’m back, I’ll also see about hooking up the forums to the web site. Once I have the lease wrapped up and can speak openly about the location of the gym, it will be time to start spreading the word within the climbing community, and engage them in brainstorming ideas for the gym.
So off I go. If I can (free time and internet access willing), I’ll blog about my California gym visits while I’m out there.