A Vision for the Loveland community
Dear City Council Members,
We have designed this webpage just for you! We wanted an easy method to share our vision for the Loveland community and the impact we intend to make with our business. This is our third attempt to start this business, and we want you to be involved and informed of our process to ensure a successful launch! Ultimately, we want to partner with the City of Loveland and make a long-standing contribution to this community.
Bouldering is a very accessible and safe form of climbing. Literally, anyone can hop on and climb a boulder. It is super fun and can be very easy or challenging, depending on the route you are climbing. Bouldering originated outside on real rock in remote locations, but nowadays, we can bring bouldering environments into communities. HERE is what a typical bouldering gym might look like.
The continuing struggle
As you know by now, opening this business has been a struggle. It requires a large space and lots of capitol up front. But, we believe the financial risk is worth the benefits our community will reap, so we move forward.
This vision started 2.5 years ago. Our first attempt was documented in the Reporter Herald, as well as the Climbing Business Journal. It was too small (2,000 sf) of a space and we are glad the city shut us down due to lack of parking. One of our partners bought the building initially and has since found another use for it.
Here are a few concept images from our 2nd attempt to build our 7,500 sf gym on 1531 E 11th Street:
After we had signed a $390,000 lease, the building department informed us of a required a site development plan (estimated at $110,000+ to implement) and $54,245.55 in capitol expansion fees. This was in addition to the $150,000 of building improvements we had planned, coming to a grand total of ~$314,000 of up front capitol needed to invest into a building we did not own (this does not include the $300,000 budgeted for climbing walls).
We decided to terminate our lease, at a total loss of $44,643.98. We then sent this video to our future patrons:
We can summarize our experience working with the city of Loveland as very confusing, frustrating and expensive. Early on, we hired professional architects, contractors, brokers, lawyers and business advisors to help us start this business. The members of our team are composed of entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, and youth workers.
Somehow, the city process and policies were able to trump what we thought was a bouldering gym dream team...
Why is climbing important for our community?
Here are two letters you should read (click to make them bigger):
My wife grew up in Loveland. She remembers the lack of things to do in Loveland as a high school student. Today, we see kids hanging out at playgrounds and loitering about with boredom, smoking cigarettes, idle. One of our primary business goals is to catch these kids and get them hooked on climbing. Places like skateparks and gymnastics gyms have quite a few young people engaged, but climbing offers yet another outlet with a unique set of challenges.
One of our partners has years of experience with at risk youth in halfway houses. We believe climbing can target this demographic of people and help them become upstanding citizens via the physical and mental challenges and the personal relationships that climbing can foster.
<<<This map shows existing climbing gyms and walls in Northern Colorado. Notice the obvious gap between Boulder and Fort Collins.
Currently we have 270+ people signed up for our email list with very little marketing, these are families, friends and community members who stand behind our vision and live in this gap.
We know that big box, huge budget, corporate feeling, climbing gyms will eventually fill in this gap, and some are already proposing to do so. These are outside investors who do not have local community in mind, and from an economic standpoint, their profits will leave the city.
Finding a home for our business (round 3)
We have been scouring every nook and cranny of Loveland and we have found a potential location:
1513 Taurus Ct, Loveland, CO 80537
It is near city center so our community can have central access and lies within the Hwy 34 / 287 / I-25 corridor.
This location is a former gym whose lease just expired on 1/1/2018. It is a ~7,000 sf facility with ample parking (45+ spaces), mature landscaping, two ADA bathrooms, 17ft+ ceiling height for our walls, etc. Every aspect of this building appears to us to be "turnkey."
We have been told that the building is in an enterprise zone, which apparently means the capitol expansion fees are waived according the building owner.
Interior of the now vacant building we are considering:
The only thing that will hinder us from moving forward is:
- The anticipation of capital expansion fees (our previously leased building was quoted at ~$50K).
- Any other "superfluous" fees and requirements that we anticipate the building department to require of us, that do not relate to the safety of our future patrons and the practical needs of our business.
[The following will journal our process moving forward]
We are meeting with the owners of 1513 Taurus Ct today to talk about a long term lease. We will need to move forward quickly, as there will be other people interested in the space soon. We have contacted Emily Tarantini about this building for an initial overview from the building departments perspective.
Next step would be to contact our climbing wall manufacture to look at the space and find a way to place our previous wall configuration into this space.
We have been scheduled for our Concept Review on the 18th, that was the quickest we could get in. Today we submitted the Permit Estimate Request Form.
Today we received the fee estimates from the permit office:
Today we meet with the building department to discuss what it will entail for us to move into this space.
To be continued...