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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

An indoor climbing gym is headed to Detroit's Eastern Market later this year

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2020 at 1:16 PM

click to enlarge Indoor renderings of DYNO Detroit, a new indoor rock climbing gym coming to Detroit's Eastern Market. - RENDERINGS COURTESY DINO RUGGERI
  • Renderings courtesy Dino Ruggeri
  • Indoor renderings of DYNO Detroit, a new indoor rock climbing gym coming to Detroit's Eastern Market.

While most of us have spent the last six months staring at our respective walls, Dino Ruggeri has been climbing them — and Detroiters may soon have an opportunity to do the same.

DYNO Detroit is expected to open in Detroit's Eastern Market along the Dequindre Cut in November, barring any pandemic-related complications. Though there are some climbing gyms in the metro Detroit area, like Gripz Gym in Southfield and Planet Rock in Madison Heights and Ann Arbor, DYNO Detroit will be the first fitness facility dedicated to indoor climbing in Detroit proper.

As an outdoor educator and experienced climber himself, Ruggeri, 31, says his goal in launching DYNO Detroit in Detroit comes down to “providing a safe, inclusive, equitable, and accessible” climbing opportunity for all ages, body types, and experience levels, regardless of mental, physical, or financial limitations.

“It's a great workout, sure, but climbing is also a tight social community built around problem-solving and working through things like fear of heights or failure,” Ruggeri tells Metro Times. “It's cool because you can be a beginner climbing next to an expert and still do your own thing and have a good time.”

click to enlarge Indoor renderings of DYNO Detroit a new indoor rock climbing gym coming to Detroit's Eastern Market. - RENDERINGS COURTESY DINO RUGGERI
  • Renderings courtesy Dino Ruggeri
  • Indoor renderings of DYNO Detroit a new indoor rock climbing gym coming to Detroit's Eastern Market.

The 17,000 square-foot Jason Kehl-designed custom climbing facility will boast 75 different climbing routes, which range from 30-44 feet, as well as 120 rope-less boulder climbing configurations. DYNO Detroit will offer top-rope climbing — the kind of climbing done with rope, harness, and a belayer, or a partner holding the other end of the rope); lead climbing, where a climber attaches their rope to various points as they climb, also with a belayer; and bouldering, which is done on 12- to 15-foot routes without rope or harness, but have a padded floor to break a fall. In addition to free climbing, DYNO Detroit will teach and train beginners, well, the ropes.

And don't expect to navigate the same old routes every time, as they will be changed every 6-8 weeks, so climbers can experience new challenges as well as thoroughly cleaned/disinfected grips. As for the pandemic, DYNO Detroit will enforce mask-mandatory policy and ask that all climbers wash their hands before and after each climb.

In addition, they will have a computer check-in system to better regulate how many people are using the facility and how long they've been climbing. Ruggeri also says the space lends itself to being able to socially distance even while climbing and, because of the high ceilings, open warehouse-like atmosphere, and spiral air ducts, DYNO Detroit will provide climbers with 30% fresh air.

In the coming weeks, Ruggeri will be able to reveal a variety of membership options depending on a climber's needs, including monthly memberships and day passes, both of which will grant entrance to the climbing walls, fitness center, and yoga area. He also says there will be programs for youth who want to experience climbing but may not have otherwise had an affordable opportunity to do so, and plans on implementing adaptive climbing programs for those in the disabled community so that they can experience indoor climbing in a way that is comfortable for them.

Ruggeri understands there is a major learning curve when opening a business in “uncertain times,” but is ultimately feeling pretty hopeful about introducing an activity that will make its debut as an Olympic sport in 2021 to the city of Detroit.

“We hope this gives people an opportunity to see how cool climbing is and maybe they'll get the climbing bug, which is really hard to shake,” he says.

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