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Sandy Journal

Momentum Indoor Climbing Celebrates 10 Years, Looks to the Future

Oct 04, 2016 03:08PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Momentum Indoor Climbing offers climbing experiences for all ages. (Momentum Indoor Climbing)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Momentum Indoor Climbing is celebrating a decade dedicated to helping rock climbers be their very best. Momentum currently has locations in Sandy, Millcreek, Lehi and in Katy, Texas, with their Sandy location being their first gym. 

The Sandy gym, located at 220 West 10600 South, had a soft opening in November 2006. 

“Sandy Momentum is what is called a full service gym. It has a bouldering area, a high wall area and exercise and yoga areas. The first thing to be ready for customers was the bouldering area,” Jeff Pedersen, CEO of Momentum Indoor Climbing, said. “We opened our bouldering area to customers by creating an enclosed OSHA approved pathway through the rest of the construction. We were able to start getting some cash in. It was more of a soft opening. The rest of the gym wasn’t open until May 2007.”

Pedersen developed the idea of creating indoor climbing gyms after noticing the world climbing community were drawn to the Salt Lake area for outdoor climbing but there wasn’t any indoor climbing facility. 

“This was in 2005 when my business partners were starting to talk about that we’re this hub of rock climbing but there was not this modern gym,” Pedersen said. “That’s what got my business partners and I talking about. Let’s do this. We’re passionate rock climbers. We see a good business opportunity. Let’s start finding a way to bring modern indoor climbing to Salt Lake.”

One thing that sets Momentum Indoor Climbing apart from other gyms is its amenities specifically designed for beginner climbers. Pedersen explained older gyms used to be designed only for existing rock climbers to stay in shape during the winter so they can be ready for outdoor climbing in the spring and summer. 

“As the model has matured throughout the year, modern gym operators have become more and more adept at new audiences to climbing. The gyms are bigger, they’re more accessible, they can handle more climbers,” Pedersen said. “The old gyms didn’t have yoga rooms or fitness decks or kids areas. Now, most of the top operators in our industries have those kinds of offerings.”

Another feature in the Momentum gyms is the amount of natural light let in due to a specific design of the building. 

“We spent quite a large amount of money designing large window bays. In fact, at Sandy Momentum, we were very strategic about our window bay,” Pedersen said. “We designed it so when you stand on the floor, you can look out and see Lone Peak. I thought that would make it feel better to stand in the gym for hours on end and it does.”

The Momentum gyms have a variety of features that create a modern climbing gym atmosphere. This includes top rope walls, lead climbing walls, crack climbing, kids areas, bouldering, yoga rooms and fitness rooms.

“Most gyms now, and Momentum is no different, have some sort of fitness offering,” Pedersen said. “Some gyms lean more toward what you might find at a Planet Fitness. We lean a little bit more toward a CrossFit.”

Pedersen believes the gyms and rock climbing in general have become so popular because climbing has always been exhilarating. 

“It’s always been exciting. It’s always been rewarding. There’s something about climbing that really grabs people. The trouble with it is it had such a high barrier for entry,” Pedersen said. “I think what modern climbing gyms have done (is) they have created a broader, much more accessible entry point for something that has always been exciting. It’s always been addictive and rewarding. I think that’s part of the success of climbing and why it can be a powerful business. You’re giving people access to something that is truly very exciting.”

To learn more about Momentum Indoor Climbing, visit .