Just a year ago, the Rocket City was not on the top of the mind of the owner of the Southeast’s top climbing facility.
But, after some gentle persuasion by a top city official, that facility is coming to MidCity Huntsville.
“Huntsville was not on our radar until a year ago,” said Johnny O’Brien, co-owner of Chattanooga-based High Point Climbing and Fitness. “Shane Davis (the city’s director of urban development) pushed us … and it became a no-brainer.”
High Point held a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday adjacent to Top Golf in MidCity Huntsville, the mixed-use development at University Drive and Research Park Boulevard. O’Brien said construction on High Point should start in August with an opening planned for next summer.
The company opened a gym in Chattanooga five years ago and it was named “the coolest climbing gym in the country by Climbing magazine in 2015,” O’Brien said. “And I’m most proud of this one (MidCity) and am excited to get started.”
High Point will feature expansive bouldering and rope climbing areas along with a 2,400 square-foot “Kid Zone” that has climbing elements designed specifically for young climbers. The 25,000 square-foot facility will also offer weight training and cardio equipment, a yoga studio, gear shop and two event rooms.
“The outdoor wall caters to all climbers,” said co-owner and High Point President John Wiygul. “The Kids Zone will have a mini-Saturn 5 to climb.”
O’Brien stressed the family atmosphere at High Point.
“This is a multi-generational experience,” he said. “I love seeing families working out and playing together.”
High Point will offer various youth programs; including clubs and teams that compete in USA Climbing sporting events, and professional climbing instruction for beginner to expert level rock climbers.
“We want to exceed everyone’s expectations, from the friendly staff to the quality of the climbing walls, we want our gym in Huntsville to reflect every positive attribute the climbing community has to offer,” Wiguyl said.
The developer of MidCity Huntsville is RCP Companies. Recently ranked as the fourth largest commercial real estate project in the U.S., MidCity Huntsville features first-to-market concepts in retail, dining, entertainment, residential and hospitality, making it one of the most dynamic mixed-use developments in the Southeast.
Topgolf, Dave & Buster’s, High Point Climbing & the Adrenaline Zone, Rascal Flatt’s, Wahlburger’s, and world-class music venues are leading the way in establishing the MidCity as the hub for the Tennessee Valley’s workforce and growing regional population.