Twin Falls Climbing Gym Delayed, Plans Opening for Summer
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Hailey Barnes has been having lessons in patience this winter.
As the co-owner of a new rock climbing gym in Twin Falls, Barnes has seen the opening date of her facility pushed back a couple of times already. She hoped to see Gemstone Climbing Center open in early April, but now it’ll more likely be the end of July.
“It’s been frustrating,” she said. “Everything is ready to go. We’re just waiting on Mother Nature to give us a break.”
The groundbreaking ceremony for the gym was held in mid-July – and at that time Barnes, who is a partner in the venture with her father Don Campbell and other local climbing enthusiasts, had high hopes the facility would be completed by about February or March.
The delay has tried her patience, but she says the gym will still open this year.
Even with inclement weather crews have been able to pour concrete footings. Up next is installing steel bases, but they have to wait until the ground either freezes again or dries up because it’s too wet to install them now.
While they wait, Barnes and her team have been keeping busy preparing marketing materials, creating job descriptions and reviewing employee benefits, among a myriad other details that need attention before the business opens its doors.
Once complete, the 15,000 square-foot facility, located at Fifth Avenue South and Shoshone Street, will designate 12,000-square feet as climbing space. Its ceilings will reach some 40 feet tall. It also will have yoga and physical therapy rooms.
The gym will be staffed by three to four full-time employees and a handful of part-time workers. Barnes said the part-time shifts will be good for high school and college students who need to pad their wallets while they continue their studies.
Barnes expects to start filling the positions about two months before the gym’s start date, with employees training two to three weeks before it opens. The owners will start with a soft opening, with a grand opening scheduled for sometime after that.
The gym will be opened seven days a week, with several hours in the morning open to members only. But from about 10 a.m. on the facility will be open to the general public.
Barnes said she and her partners are excited to bring the climbing gym to Twin Falls. What she is not excited about is the waiting. She's keeping her fingers crossed that the gym won’t open any later than July.
“My general contractor mentioned to me the other day that it might be August,” she said. “But I told him that was a bad word and I didn’t want to hear it anymore.”