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Indoor climbing gym expands into new site

Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal

The state’s largest indoor climbing gym is about to get a whole lot bigger.

Stone Age Climbing Gym has announced plans to move into the old Spa & Billiard World store near Interstate 40 and Carlisle NE, a site more than twice the size of its existing location.

The new Stone Age is expected to open at 4130 Cutler NE in January. The current location near Interstate 25 and Comanche will remain open in the interim.

Owner Bryan Pletta said Stone Age’s consistent growth necessitated a larger building. Founded in 1997, the gym currently boasts about 1,200 members but also offers punch-cards and day passes for less frequent users and has become a popular destination for birthday parties and other events.

Pletta said the new gym – including the property acquisition, development and build-out – will cost about $4.2 million.

“We’ve been slowly but surely growing every year,” Pletta said. “Over the last several years we’ve really been operating at capacity and have felt the need to get some additional space.”

Stone Age has about 9,600 square feet of floor space at its current home. The new space measures nearly 23,000 square feet.

Stone Age will have higher climbing walls – from 28 feet now to 43 feet – roughly two or three times as much bouldering terrain and a designated area for group events at its new site, Pletta said.

The search for a new Stone Age building began about three years ago and finally zeroed in on the Cutler location. Pletta said the old spa store building offered excellent visibility and access, a centralized location and high-enough ceilings.

Work has not started at the site, but Edward Fitzgerald Architects is handling the design and Klinger Constructors is the contractor.

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