Two young rock climbers purchased the Nevada Climbing Centers at 3065 E. Patrick Lane in hopes of shaping the next generation of climbers.
Lisa Capistrant and her boyfriend Ian Clark ventured into the biggest investment of their lives by becoming owners of the approximately 6,200-square-foot gym. The couple bought the gym in 2011 after the previous owner confided he planned to sell it.
“I’ve been climbing here since 2004 and working off and on since then,” Capistrant said. “I just fell in love with the place. The last owner was either going to sell it to some random person who might tear it down or it was going to continue to be my gym. We decided to buy it.”
Capistrant found her passion for rock climbing in 2004, when she joined the gym.
“I never had my one thing that I was excited about as a kid,” Capistrant said.. “I was always really athletic, but I never found my sport. The second I came here, I knew this was it. Climbing was so natural to me.”
Without previous business experience, the 23-year-old Capistrant and 26-year-old Clark put together their savings and paid off the former owner within a year.
“We struggled a bit at first, but as far as business goes, we’ve seen nothing but growth,” Clark said.
Capistrant said they have spent thousands of dollars on new climbing holes, pads, harnesses and ropes. The owners have also added slacklining, workout equipment and aerial silk classes.
Capistrant started aerial silk classes in July 2012. She teaches beginning classes at 10 a.m. every Saturday, unless otherwise noted. Prices for the class range from $15 to $18.
Former owner Randy Grandstaff started the gym in 1997. Since then, it has had approximately five owners and three name changes, Capistrant said.
“Climbing is a mentally and physically challenging sport,” said member Robert Langevin. “I started climbing here over a year ago, and I kept coming back because the staff was so friendly and happy to help.”
There are two part-time employees, but the owners hope to hire more people as business expands.
Three Labrador retriever dogs also accompany the gym. One of the dogs, Kali, is trained to jump and grab harnesses from the wall for customers.
Licensed massage therapist Denise Willer recently joined the gym. She offers climbers chair massages every Monday and Wednesday night or by appointment.
The gym also includes a bouldering section, which is being remodeled and is estimated to open in the spring.
The owners teach private classes on how to climb, techniques, anchoring, lead climbing and sports climbing.
Top rope, bouldering and lead climbing levels range from 5.4 to 5.13. The routes are changed every three to six months, according to Capistrant.
“This is not your average gym,” Clark said. “We have an open vibe and provide a laid-back environment that doesn’t make people feel excluded.”
Climbing rates range from $12 to $14 a day, with gear rental ranging from $5 to $8. Student discounts are available every Tuesday night, and discounts for women are available every Wednesday night.
“We came to the gym because we wanted something fun to do that was recreational,” said Monica Mogavero, who came with her sister and cousins. “This is a good workout, and it’s very challenging.”
Parties and group events also are available and include usage of entire gym and safety instruction.
“We’ve had a few celebrities from the Strip come down,” Capistrant said. “Penn from Penn and Teller had his kids’ birthday here.”
Clark added that the staff encourages families to come with their children.
“We really want kids to be excited about being here,” Capistrant said. “We want to shape the next climbing generation to be strong and healthy and not sitting on their couches playing video games all day long.”
The owners said they have never had to call the ambulance since they’ve worked at the gym. Their biggest concern is the safety of others, and they make sure employees pay attention to climbers.
In the future, the duo hopes to start a youth summer climbing team.
“Owning the gym is the best thing that’s happened to us,” Capistrant said. “We love coming to work every day. It’s become our passion.”
For more information on Nevada Climbing Centers, visit nvclimbing.com.
Contact Sunrise/Whitney View reporter Sandy Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4686.