Blue Granite Climbing Gym open for business in South Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Blue Granite Climbing Gym open for business in South Lake Tahoe

After receiving the final thumbs-up from the city, Brad and Gianna Leavers opened the doors to Blue Granite Climbing Gym.

After 15 months of construction, climbers may start scaling walls that reach 42-feet high.

"It's been quite a process," said Gianna on Tuesday while finishing touches were happening on the 5,000 square foot building designed by Monarch Architecture that stands 35-feet high, the maximum for the area. "We were hoping to be open earlier but we are glad we're here now."

Construction was originally expected to take six- to eight-months with the completion date to be around the end of 2017 or early in 2018.

Digging 10-feet down to lay the building's foundation added extra height to the walls, but also added a little extra time. The city's permitting process also took a good chunk of time.

The modern building has steel walls, wood accents and large windows allowing in natural light.

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The full-service gym located at 1259 Emerald Bay Road near the Y on Emerald Bay Road features two separate roped climbing areas with four self belay systems, a bouldering area upstairs, a room for yoga classes, aerobic and weight machines, a sauna, bathrooms with showers and a coffee bar that will also serve smoothies.

The gym's soft opening coincides with the 7th Tahoe Bouldering Competition that takes place Saturday, Sept. 15.

The event is open to the public. Participants must check in at the gym between 7 and 8 a.m. before heading out to the Pie Shop climbing area in Meyers to begin the competition.

Competitors must bring their scorecards back to the gym in the afternoon and there will be a climber's festival from 3 to 7 p.m. The kid-friendly festival will feature beer tasting, a taco truck, a bounce house for kids, and adults, a dyno competition, climbing vendors, lots of raffle prizes including several crash pads among other prizes.

For information about the competition, visit tahoebouldering.com.

The gym during its soft opening will be open 2 to 10 p.m. every day. In a few weeks, Gianna said the gym will change to "normal" hours, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. will be specifically for gym members.

The cost for a monthly membership is $65 with discounts available for students, teachers, military personnel, veterans and families. A day pass is $20.

The gym will also sell products, anything an aspiring climber would need to start clipping bolts outside and will also offer rentals of equipment to use at the gym.

The gym will offer instructional climbing classes and everybody must pass a belay test to rope climb.

The gym will host groups including kids birthday parties and other kinds of events.

A kids climbing team will also begin in November.

For more information, visit bluegraniteclimbing.com or call 530-600-2761.

The Leavers got a taste of what it will be like when their gym is hopping with climbers. They hosted a founding members only night and about 130 people took turns climbing the walls.

"We are so excited to open," Gianna said. "It wasn't as packed as I thought it would be. But it was surreal to finally see people in here climbing."