Monday, September 19, 2016

Cool things are afoot in Athens!


Coming soon to Athens Ohio!   (but only if you get involved and help make it happen)
Climbers living in Athens, Ohio have long dreamed of having a great climbing resource in town (like this new bouldering gym in Leiden, Germany).  But the unfortunate reality is that these amazing modern bouldering gyms are usually the product of investors who see a great money making opportunity.  Athens is too small of a market for that.   
However, there is a different model, one based on the community getting together to pool resources and build a great gym that is for the community and provided by the community.  The best example is the Slo-Op in San Luis Obispo, California.  This gym grew from a home bouldering wall located in a storage facility into two locations with hundreds of members.  See the Slo Op page.

To make the Slo Op happen they focused on building community, leveraging the resources that they already had, and organizing as a non-profit social club.  That is what we at Climb Athens are doing now for Athens, but to do that, we need your help.  

Become a member of the community and support the effort.
  1. Climbers and parents of young climbers who live in and around Athens, Ohio.  Join Climb Athens ($20 lifetime membership) and pay for an access pass to boulder at The Dojo and Beta Fish for the next 9 months.  The membership and access pass will allow you to participate in Climb Athens events and help build our supportive and vibrant climbing community.  Climb Athens plans for a regular schedule of 2 nights per location each week.  A limited number of access passes are available for Fall 2016.  We are seeking 20-25 student members ($100 access pass) and 20-25 adult members ($150 access pass).
  2. Athens Climbers in exodus who have dispersed around the globe!  Support Climb Athens with an Alumni membership including: a lifetime membership so you can come back and climb some day, two day passes, a swank Climb Athens t-shirt, and the opportunity to participate in the planning and discussion online in the Climb Athens Facebook Group.  The Alumni Access pass costs $50.
  3. Community investors who can contribute to building more healthy and fun options for recreation in Athens Ohio.  Contact Ted and Bryant about our money raising goals, business plan and our opportunities/limitations as a non-profit social club.  In short, our money can come solely from membership fees and non-interest bearing personal loans.  The only profit from this venture will be the increase in the quality of life Climb Athens can bring to our little corner of the world.      

About us:    
Climb Athens is a community based non profit climbing company.  It was founded in September of 2016 by Ted Welser and Bryant Noble.  We are running Climb Athens as a nonprofit social club acting under the provisions of the 501(c)(7) federal tax code.  This designation means that at least 85% of our operating budget must come from members (dues and access fees) and that our programs must serve the interests of those members rather than provide profit for investors or anyone else.  This strategy makes Climb Athens a type of “community sourcing” organization that exists because of the contributions of members, for the benefit of those members.  
Our Mission:
  1. Build a supportive, cooperative learning community for climbers of all levels to develop their skills and character.
  2. Establish high quality, accessible, and inspiring climbing facilities in Athens Ohio.
  3. Organize events for members to socialize and participate in the activities of bouldering, climbing, training, and recreation related to climbing and bouldering.
  4. Encourage healthy, lifelong active lifestyles through bouldering and climbing.
  5. Advocate for climbing and a healthy, active lifestyle locally across Athens County, and more broadly across the Appalachian region.
  6. Such other purposes and activities as are both lawful and in accord with the above stated General Purposes.

Our plan for growth:
Phase 1: Build core membership.   In Autumn 2016 we aim to build a core of dedicated members, formally establish the organization with LLC and 501c7 status, and purchase gymnastic mats and climbing holds.  Because Climb Athens does not yet have a climbing facility, we will work cooperatively with community members to provide benefits to members.  This includes arranging regular access to existing home bouldering walls, taking local bouldering tours, and offering skill and training workshops.     
We estimate that we will need 40 to 50 local members who have also paid the 9 month access fee for fall 2016 through Spring 2017.  If we reach our goal of 40 active members then we will be able to offer 2 regular weekly climbing events at The Dojo and two at Beta Fish, in addition to special events like bouldering tours and competitions.  
Phase 1 resources: Climb Athens is utilizing two home bouldering walls as climbing resources during our initial phase of organization.  
The Dojo is a garage attic bouldering gym with steep walls, low ceilings, 425 square feet of climbing surface, and about 1500 climbing holds.  There are about 90 different marked boulder problems ranging from V0 to V10.  The Dojo also has two hang boards and a campus board.  
Beta Fish is in the corner of a very large garage with a 12ft tall ceiling.  The main walls include an 8ft wide 40 degree wall with overhanging aretes, a 20 degree wall, and a couple dihedrals.  The 40 degree wall includes a Moon / Kilter hybrid board allowing for both extremely difficult problems and easier juggy ones too.  Beta Fish also has two hangboards.  
Phase 2: Build a bouldering gym.  In Summer of 2017 we plan to rent a commercial space and build a bouldering gym in Athens Ohio.  We will fund the startup costs primarily from pre-sale of annual passes and personal loans from community members who want to support active and healthy lifestyle options in Athens Ohio.  During Phase 2 we will expand our membership, greatly extend the hours of availability for the Climb Athens gym and expand the instructional programs to include a youth climbing club.  
Join Climb Athens

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