The Mine Bouldering Gym announces plans for roped climbing, closure of current venue
The Mine Bouldering Gym in Kimball Junction is planning to expand out of its location to a full-service climbing gym, but the transition won’t be seamless.
The rock climbing gym is planning on moving into a 15,000 to 20,000 square foot building of its own creation in the Park City Business Center across Old Highway 40 from the Park City Hospital some time in 2020. However, The Mine will close its current location on May 20.
Co-founder Andy Jacobsen said expanding was always part of the plan, however, realizing that dream would put the gym between, well, a rock and a hard place.
Jacobsen said The Mine had to renegotiate its lease so it would be able to leave when the time came to move into its new facility. The renegotiated lease started a three-month rolling plan starting in May. The Mine then notified the landlord of its desire to stay through the subsequent three-month block and beyond, but the landlord did not approve the extension.
“While we are sad to say goodbye to our current facility, we are extremely excited about opening our ‘dream’ facility and continuing to be a hub for the PC climbing community in the future,” The Mine told its members in an email announcement on Wednesday.
The Mine is still seeking permits from the county to build what Jacobsen described as a multimillion dollar project that will be ready to go regardless of the current location’s shuttering.
The closure of the current location does present a hurdle for staffing, though.
The Mine currently employs 20 people, two of whom are full time. And while that number could expand to a total staff of 40 in the new building, Jacobsen is worried what will happen to his full-timers, manager Luke Turkington and head coach Dayton Henriksen, in the interim, while they likely won’t have work or pay. Turkington and Henriksen declined to comment.
“I really don’t want to lose Luke or Dayton,” Jacobsen said. “They are the heart and soul of The Mine and represent our core values. Losing either Luke or Dayton would be not only a loss for The Mine, but a loss to the Park City climbing community as a whole. They have been a huge part of getting The Mine to where it is today and we will try to do everything we can to retain them through this process.”
Once it is up and running, the new location, which could possibly rebrand in the process, would offer as many as 10 auto belay stations, triple the climbing area and an estimated seven times the number of holds as the current location. Total climbing surface area at the new location is estimated around 14,000 square feet.
The Mine plans to continue to coach youth climbing teams and offer programming, including USA Climbing competitions, and to continue providing amenities like a fitness room, freeweights, and bouldering.
Jacobsen said the new location would also include at least one training board, like the current Moonboard.
The downtime between climbing gyms will likely divert clientele down to gyms in the Salt Lake Valley like Momentum and The Front. But Jacobsen is confident he will recognize some faces when the new location opens its doors.
“With the new facility, the Park City community will have access to a modern, state-of-the-art climbing and fitness facility that is on par with the large climbing gyms in metropolitan areas yet still represents the Park City community,” Jacobsen said in an email. “We plan to continue to provide an inclusive facility that is suited to training the full spectrum of athletes from beginners to future Olympians.”
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.