About the Dream
Building on a dream Yishai had as a teenager to own a gym of his own one day, he spent many years studying wall design and climbing gym layout before traveling to New Zealand in 2003 and discovering a manageable little co-op there in a storage unit.
When he returned from his travels, he rallied the core climbing community (then very small) in San Luis Obispo and they got together with a few hundred bucks and a dream, engineered some wooden walls, and built them into a storage facility. Low maintenance and high on trust, the little gym did well until its popularity caused the storage’s management some concern and they terminated our contract.
Undaunted, Yishai and Kristin (along with their friends) decided to open a real gym in town, but after finding out about zoning, properly planning for finances, and basically getting a real eyeful of a life of birthday party hosting, they decided to look into rebuilding what once was, only this time, better.
Finding a warehouse in the far side of town, Kristin and Yishai rallied the climbing community (still small, but getting bigger) and managed to find loans from potential members and community contributions that enabled them to design and build yet another facility. This time, rather than being a simple plywood wall, it became a steel structure with a plywood shell. We were able to enlist a professional to erect the steel part, but the rest of it was done with love and elbow grease.
In a 1,000 foot facility with a roll-up door and key-code lock to allow 24-7 access, the little gym grew from an expected membership of just 70 to a peak of 450 members in under two years. Not happy with the initial design, we rebuilt the back wall and repainted it after one year. Kristin and Yishai were eventually able to make a small stipend for running the place and it continued to grow the more well-managded it got. We had a lot of free-loaders and people were beginning to whine about it being overcrowded so . . .
In 2009, Kristin and Yishai decided to expand. Yishai found the perfect location and again, using the community completely for funding, a new design was built and we were able actual architects, engineers, and our original steel welder to come in and do it up right. In addition to this, it took about two months of non-stop fourteen-hour construction days.
And, you know, as an aside, it was about then that they decided to fall in love. We got married in December 2011, so you know . . . bouldering gyms could lead to you achieving the wildest things!