Written by Arkansas Real Estate
We had the opportunity to tour Climb Bentonville and meet with Shea McCrary, the Community and Business Development Coordinator. Climb Bentonville is a 20,400 square foot rock-climbing facility located in Bentonville, AR. The facility acts as both a gym and recreation center, offering climbing courses as well as yoga, and fitness classes! Climb Bentonville is a unique, new space for those wanting to gain or improve their rock-climbing skills and overall health. Shea said her hopes for the facility “are to expand our reach to include climbers of all types and abilities. I want every person in Arkansas to be able to experience the joy that others have found in climbing and in the community it builds.”
Climb Bentonville opened their doors in January of 2019 and have already gained a strong member base. In the main area of the facility there are 45-foot-tall climbing walls that have color-coded routes based on level of difficulty. Routes are changed every 3 to 5 weeks by Climb Bentonville Route Setters allowing climbers to continuously challenge themselves and test their skills. In addition to the vertical walls, there is a 48-foot long bouldering wall. Bouldering is shorter climbs without the assistance of a rope and harness which requires more calculated movements. There are always staff members onsite available to assist and guide climbers when needed.
The kid’s area in Climb Bentonville is as impressive as the rest of the facility, featuring 30-foot walls that serve as beginner walls for those interested in climbing or for brushing up on skills. Walltopia, the world’s largest manufacturer of climbing structures, was the main builder of the walls and they utilized Fun Walls for the kid’s area. The Fun Walls have different types of grips and themes such as dinosaur bones, a Tetris block wall, and they even have a skyscraper model that kids can climb on top of! The upstairs kid's area is perfect for birthday parties or group gatherings. Climb Bentonville is excited for the youth programs they have in place for the future! This summer they will have summer camps that will introduce climbing to kids and bring more exposure to their youth competition teams. Climb Bentonville is also working with local high schools and home-school groups to provide another outlet for recreation.
There is nothing quite like Climb Bentonville in or around Northwest Arkansas. There are two Climb locations in Nashville and one in Murfreesboro that make up the Climb family. When speaking about bringing the Climb franchise to a new area, Shea stated “We have an HQ team of our owners and operators that come from a diverse set of backgrounds both in climbing and occupation. All of their hard work and dedication stems from the same vein as my own passions in making climbing a transformative experience for everyone.” While they are all similarly structured, each gym offers different classes and competitions. Shea said that Climb Nashville is known for its “Hotter than Chicken” competition that combines rock-climbing and eating hot chicken in order to test all your abilities. The more hot chicken you eat, the higher your score goes! Climb Bentonville hopes to host its first competition later this year. The current concept is a triathlon style competition with mountain biking, running, and climbing. The competition could potentially take place this September or October and become an annual event!
When speaking with Shea it was easy to see her passion for climbing. Shea said one reason she moved to Arkansas was because of the outdoor climbing scene at places like Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and Lincoln Lake. When she found out a Climb location was coming to Bentonville, she knew she had to jump in on the opportunity so that she could share that passion with others. Shea truly believes climbing can improve people's' lives, “My favorite thing about climbing is that there are virtually no limitations based on access or ability. I've seen it transform people ages 2 to 72 both physically and mentally. We have members across all age brackets who have come in apprehensive at first and only a few weeks later enrolled in their first instructional courses to create a lifelong hobby and passion. Conquering fears and pushing yourself beyond the limitations you set for yourself allows you to carry that resilience into other parts of your life.”
We were so impressed by the Climb Bentonville facility and the plans they have in place for the future. Although they are newly opened, they are continuously growing their member base and seeking to introduce a new way of working out to our community. Shea assured us Climb Bentonville will continue to bring exciting events and new opportunities to Northwest Arkansas. Shea perfectly summed up the purpose and passion behind a community like Climb Bentonville, “Climbing is amazing because it can have such a singular focus with a community bond. You are constantly pushing yourself to be better while being supported by a large group of people who believe you can.”
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(Some images featured in this article are courtesy of Climb Bentonville)