Like any cliff worth ascending, bringing the first indoor rock climbing gym to Tysons required perseverance, patience and a little faith in the process.
Once expected to launch in December, Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center had a soft opening this weekend. After 10 months of supply chain and permitting delays, it welcomed founding members only on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 8-9) before expanding to all patrons yesterday (Monday).
“It’s definitely exciting that we’ve been able to do this,” Ethan Ford, Vertical Rock’s operations director, told FFXnow. “It’s come a long way from the furniture store that used to be here, and we’re hoping it does bring something great to this area.”
A smaller, bouldering-focused expansion of the company’s flagship center in Manassas, Vertical Rock Tysons occupies two floors in the back of a shopping strip at 8461 Leesburg Pike anchored by Best Buy and The Container Store.
Consolidated on the top floor, the gym contains 9,000 square feet of bouldering walls with 14-inch-high safety padding on the floor as well as weights and exercise equipment. A Kilter Board with holds that light up based on a route that users can choose with an app is available for training.
The bottom floor is devoted to Basecamp Coffee Roasters, a 2,000-square-foot cafe open to both gym members and the general public. Unique to the Tysons location, the coffee shop reflects the area’s more urban environment and is intended to foster a sense of community, Vertical Rock co-owner and CEO Ian Colton previously told FFXnow’s sister site Tysons Reporter.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to make one in Manassas,” Ford said. “Right now, this is the first one, so we are kind of hoping to bring that same community feeling we have at Manassas over here.”
After following truncated hours for its soft opening, Vertical Rock will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. A grand opening date will likely be set this week, Ford said.
The gym offers individual, family, student and military/police memberships, along with camps and youth teams.
Started in 2012, Vertical Rock is part of a wave of indoor rock climbing gyms that has already taken hold of nearby Arlington County and Alexandria City. However, this is first such facility in Fairfax County, which has been exploring ways to boost sports tourism in recent years.
“There’s gyms popping up everywhere, so being able to bring the first gym to this area is something really special,” Ford said. “I think that it’s going to make a great fit for this area.”