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Scaling New Heights: The Economic Impact and Importance of a Rock Climbing Gym in Cañon City, CO

Written by Benjamin Black, June 6th, 2023

A small child rope climbing, Rock Climbing Gym in Cañon City, CO


As the saying goes, "The best view comes after the hardest climb." This adage couldn't be more relevant when we consider the potential and promise of a new venture - a $22M rock climbing gym in the heart of rural Cañon City, Colorado. A project of this magnitude doesn't merely offer a fresh opportunity for fitness enthusiasts and climbers. It stands as a beacon of economic growth, community development, and a boost to regional tourism. Let's explore why this project is of paramount importance to the region and why it's destined to be a beneficial addition to our community.

Why a Rock Climbing Gym? Why Now?

Cañon City, Colorado, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, is a region blessed with natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, including popular climbing spots like Shelf Road, Oak Creek Grade, The Bighorn Sheep Canyon, The Buckskin Crags, and Phantom Canyon. These locations offer an amazing array of climbing experiences, attracting climbers from far and wide. However, a dedicated indoor climbing gym is a missing piece in this rich puzzle. Here's why we need to fill this gap.

  1. Year-Round Access: Our region's natural climbing spots are fantastic, but they're not always accessible. Weather, safety issues, and conservation concerns can limit their use. An indoor rock climbing gym will provide year-round access to climbing enthusiasts, beginners, and experts alike.

  2. Education and Training: A dedicated climbing gym will allow new climbers to learn and practice in a controlled environment before they tackle the natural cliffs and crags. More experienced climbers can refine their skills, try new techniques, and even engage in strength and endurance training.

  3. Community Building: The gym will be a hub for climbers of all ages, fostering a sense of community. It can host climbing competitions, team building events, and other social activities, bringing people together and strengthening the local community.

  4. Health and Wellness: Promoting a healthy and active lifestyle is more important than ever. A climbing gym will serve as a beacon of wellness and physical activity for residents and visitors alike.

The Economic Impact: A Catalyst for Growth

The $22M investment in a rock climbing gym isn't just about creating a recreational facility. It's about igniting a spark of economic development in Cañon City. Here's how:

  1. Job Creation: The construction and operation of the gym will create jobs, both directly and indirectly. From construction workers and gym staff to increased demand in local businesses, the employment impact will be significant.

  2. Tourism Boost: The gym will draw visitors from across the state and country, boosting local tourism. These visitors will also patronize local restaurants, shops, and hotels, injecting money into the local economy.

  3. Property Values: As the area becomes more attractive due to enhanced recreational opportunities, property values are likely to rise, benefiting local homeowners and investors.

  4. Investor Interest: The successful realization of a project of this size can also act as a catalyst for further investment in the area. It can signal to potential investors that Cañon City is a place of growth and opportunity.

Why a Climbing Gym Over a Bouldering Gym?

Given the regional statistics and the widespread popularity of our natural climbing spots, a full-service climbing gym makes more sense than a bouldering-only gym. Here's why:

  1. Variety of Climbing Experiences: A climbing gym can cater to a wider variety of climbing styles and abilities, from beginners to advanced climbers. Bouldering is a specific type of climbing that doesn't useropes or harnesses and is typically limited to lower heights. A full-service climbing gym can offer bouldering areas as well as areas for top-rope climbing, lead climbing, and more.

  2. Training for Natural Climbs: Given the abundance of natural climbing spots in our region, a full-service climbing gym will better prepare climbers for these experiences. Climbers can practice techniques and skills that are directly transferable to the natural climbing routes in the area.

  3. Attracting a Wider Audience: While bouldering appeals to a certain demographic of climbers, a full-service climbing gym can attract a broader range of individuals and groups, including families, schools, and corporate groups looking for team-building activities.


The proposed $22M rock climbing gym in Cañon City, Colorado is more than just a climbing facility. It's an opportunity for economic growth, community building, and the promotion of an active, healthy lifestyle. It's a chance to put Cañon City on the map as a hub of climbing activity, attracting visitors from far and wide. It's a way to inspire the next generation of climbers, provide year-round climbing opportunities, and offer a controlled environment for climbers of all levels to learn and grow. This project is an investment in our future, a commitment to our community, and a testament to the potential of Cañon City.

We invite potential investors, near and far, to join us on this exciting journey. Together, we can reach new heights and make a positive and lasting impact on our community. We also welcome the interest and support of the general public. Your enthusiasm and engagement will be the driving force behind this project's success. After all, this is not just a climbing gym—it's a climb towards a better, stronger, and more vibrant Cañon City.


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