Mesa Rim Climbing Center coming to Reno in summer 2017

Mesa Rim held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 24,000-square-foot indoor climbing facility located in downtown Reno.

Mesa Rim held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 24,000-square-foot indoor climbing facility located in downtown Reno.

A new indoor climbing and fitness center is heading to the Biggest Little City.

Mesa Rim Climbing & Fitness Center, a company that operates indoor climbing facilities in Southern California, broke ground on a new five-story, 24,000-square-foot building in downtown Reno earlier this November. The facility will feature 30- to 50-foot indoor climbing walls for both beginners and advanced climbers. The Reno location will be the company’s fourth operation.

“Reno is a great market,” Marlowe Kulley, manager of Mesa Rim Reno, said in a recent phone interview with NNBW. “We looked all over the country for a city that was big enough to support a facility of this size and also has a good population of people that were interested in the outdoors.”

In addition to the climbing and bouldering area, the center will also feature a yoga studio, a fitness area with both weights and cardio, locker rooms, a sauna as well as a lounge and communal workspace with a deck that will open up toward Mt. Rose. The center will offer a wide-range of activities.

“We will have a lot of programing that will be really inclusive, family-friendly events for people of all abilities,” Kulley said.

Mesa Rim Reno is slated to open in the summer of 2017.

Clark/Sullivan Construction is serving as the contractor on the project and MBA Architecture + Interiors is the architect. The climbing walls are being built by Entre-Prises Climbing Walls based in Bend, Ore.

Mesa Rim joins several other climbing facilities in the Reno area. These include BaseCamp’s 164-foot outdoor climbing wall and their 7,000-square-foot indoor bouldering park located within the Whitney Peak Hotel as well as Rock Sport Indoor Climbing in Sparks.

Mesa Rim was founded in San Diego, Calif., in 2010. They have two full-service climbing facilities and a dedicated climbing training center, all in the San Diego area. The Reno project is a joint venture between Mesa Rim, Kulley, her husband Mike Helt and some local investors.

Kulley and Helt have extensive knowledge in the climbing industry. In 2013, they founded Climbing Business Journal, an independent news outlet focused on the indoor climbing industry. They traveled across the country visiting climbing gyms for the publication. However, Mesa Rim stood out among the rest.

“There was something about the way that Ian (McIntosh, the president of Mesa Rim, and the staff) run their facility and they really cared about the community,” Kulley said. “They just treated everyone really well and I just liked the philosophy that they had.”

Eventually, they reached out to Mesa Rim to help them grow and two years ago, Kulley and Helt moved to Reno to start work on the project and to find the property for the new climbing center.

The three-plus acre lot of land on the corner of Yale Way and Harvard Way, where the facility is being built, has sat vacant for many years.

“It has been empty for a really long time,” Kulley said. “We are excited to get something on the property and help activate that corridor.”

Kulley said that they liked the downtown location’s accessibility to bike routes as well as the proximity to the University of Nevada, Reno and Midtown. The plans for the project also include space for more than 100 parking spaces.

According to Kulley, Mesa Rim is looking into other markets for additional facilities on the West Coast.

“There are definitely other places where people are (wanting) a new modern climbing facility with all the amenities that come with it,” she said.

They plan to start hiring for the Reno facility in spring 2017 with additional hiring the month prior to the opening. For more details, visit,


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