Located on the same grounds as the previous Tibet House on 4th St. in downtown Corvallis, the Valley Rock Gym is looking much different from any building of the past on the same premises. It’s path to opening has been significantly different than any other too. But h ealth fanatics and adventure seekers alike will rejoice when the Valley Rock Gym finally opens.
Purchased by the new owners in February 2020, the construction and remodeling process has experienced numerous hiccups involving everything from old building quirks to a pandemic. Now, a full year later, the owners are finally eyeing a potential public opening date in mid-March.
“Seeing all the pieces coming together and the overall transformation of the space has been nothing short of amazing,” says Johanna Garcia, one of the owners and General Managers of the gym.
With a rustic exterior of stained wood and large stone that visually appeals to residents of western Oregon, the gym is primarily a climbing facility but will house a number of other fitness and social spaces. Two additional components of the operation will be a yoga studio and classes, and a café that prepares healthy, local food. Garcia says the gym was designed and built around similar priorities shared by the five owners; climbing, community, education and wellness.
Despite being carefully planned by a group of motivated physical fitness enthusiasts and founded in a town known for its love of the outdoors and healthy habits, the Valley Rock Gym has still had some hurdles.
“It took a lot of creative problem solving and teamwork but that’s the beauty of a project like this,” Garcia said, “While it did extend our timeline a bit, the more frustrating part for us was the inability to host community events.”
The group imagined hosting numerous public events to build excitement for the new gym and foster relationships between people interested in similar activities.
When asked about how the Valley Rock Gym anticipates keeping staff and visitors protected from COVID-19, Garcia said they will be “following the Climbing Wall Association, CDC, and OHA recommendations,” which involve traditional social distancing measures, mask wearing, and frequent cleaning. Garcia also explained that rather than powder chalk traditionally used by climbers to increase gripping abilities, they plan to use liquid chalk. Liquid chalk is chalk suspended in alcohol, and thus works as a sanitizer and many climbing organizations are currently suggesting guests use the substance to protect themselves and the public from the virus.
So, while health policies are developed and remodeling is coming to a close, interested locals will need to stay tuned for the exact opening date of the new climbing and fitness gym.
To keep an eye on changes made to opening dates of the Valley Rock Gym, you can visit their website or the groups Instagram account @valleyrockgym.
By: Lauren Zatkos