Ubergrippen, an “indoor climbing crag,” was presented to the Stapleton Zoning and Planning Committee (ZAP) on October 13. The project was well-received by ZAP committee members. Owner Jake Crine said he hopes to open the facility by this time next fall. Ground breaking is anticipated for February.
The facility will be adjacent to the 21st Ave. and Willow St. roundabout. Commercial neighbors will include the Stapleton Fellowship Church (Hangar 61) to the north and east, and the Stapleton Veterinary Hospital to the south. On a 61,000 square foot lot, the building will include 20,430 square feet of floor area within a 14,900 square foot footprint. The structure will peak at 45 feet to accommodate 16,000 square feet of climbing and bouldering wall area. The site will be accessed by a one-way drive from 21st Avenue, with two vehicular exits from the site onto a private drive to the south that also serves the animal clinic, 7-11 and car wash businesses. It will be an engineered metal building with a concrete base, textured stone and a wood awning. Colors will be predominantly red and gray. The main entrance faces northeast, with visibility from Central Park Blvd. The west side of the building features overhead doors, allowing access to a landscaped area. Climbers will find a retail space for gear and apparel. A café will be open to the public, and Crine hopes to offer beer and wine, depending on his success in obtaining a liquor license. Depending on the final site design, the building will be served by 68 to 75 parking spaces plus bicycle parking.
Crine plans a variety of activities in addition to climbing such as yoga and summer youth camps. The main issue that arose during design review was traffic and concerns with vehicle headlights impacting the residents on the west side of 21st Ave. He believes the one-way south vehicle movement should minimize any such impacts.
Crine believes the location in Stapleton just off Central Park and Montview Boulevards is “ideal” and that he expects to serve all of northeast Denver. The nearest climbing gyms are in Thornton, Centennial and in Denver at approximately 6th Avenue and Mariposa. Ubergrippen will be similar in layout and features to recently opened gyms such as Movement and Earth Treks, at about two-thirds their size. Ubergrippen will feature 10 “auto-belays,” devices that automatically lower a climber.
Climbers without partners would thereby be able to use the rope walls at the facility. Crine named his business after the climbing term “Ubergrippen,” which signifies the “intense feeling of relief” when finding a good handhold after the most difficult or “crux” move on a climb.