After five years of independent ownership, Origin Climbing will be part of The Pad family of gyms, retaining owners John Wilder and Andy Raether at the gym and in larger scale operations.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” says COO Kristin Horowitz, of the acquisition, “John has been a friend of mine for over a decade – we met on Rockclimbing.com way back in the day and have shared this gym ownership journey . . . so it just made sense to fuse and grow together.”
When The Pad Climbing changed from its nonprofit structure in 2017, it was with the sole intent of building a full scale operation to serve the community in San Luis Obispo, where it started as a 501c3 nonprofit, SLO Op.
Since the opening of the new gym, more and more opportunities have presented themselves for growth and impacting more communities with The Pad Climbing’s community oriented gyms. Origin’s acquisition is the first concrete step in that direction.
“We’re excited to bring on the talent that Origin has in place – to learn and share and grow together with our weaknesses and strengths and plan for even more growth,” says Horowitz.
There are three other locations in concrete development at the time, one was inadvertently made public when a news organization published their inquiry in Santa Barbara’s region (about 1.5 hours from the SLO location) a year ago.
This acquisition comes on the heels of a rejection by the Sand City council for a use permit for a location in the Monterey region. “That rejection didn’t sting too badly,” says Horowitz, “because we knew we had a lot of other cool things in motion.” Management declines to state plans until they are fully realized, so that they do not further disappoint communities should things not come to fruition.
Ascent Ventures, The Pad Climbing’s (and now The Pad Origin’s) new parent company, expects to make more growth announcements in the coming weeks. “2020 is going to be very exciting for a lot of people,” Horowitz says, “Including me. It’s been an amazing journey going from bootstrapping to meeting with the big guys to interviewing for C-Suite level positions. We’re so excited to bring the best we can to underdeveloped and underserved locations, partnering with local nonprofits to keep access available to everyone, and bringing in head of household and great part time jobs for deserving, talented, curious people. It’s a dream come true.”
What can Originnies expect from this transition?
- More robust fitness/yoga offerings
- A bit of a redesign of the layout for feng shui and kid/training friendliness, coworking space installation
- Reciprocal membership with The Pad Climbing gyms
- All the awesome you can shake a stick at that you already love
- More as the transition goes along!