Entrepreneurs eye indoor rock climbing franchise

By - Last modified: November 18, 2013 at 9:23 AM

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Two entrepreneurs are looking to bring an indoor rock climbing gym franchise to the Greater Lehigh Valley.

Lucas Kovalcik and Tim Walsh, founders of The Gravity Vault, are natives of Bergen County, N.J., and are looking to open a Bethlehem or Allentown area location in the first quarter of 2014.

"We are currently hitting the pavement, looking at locations, finding the right real estate," Kovalcik said.

Walsh said the business is looking for buildings of about 10,000 to 16,000 square feet, with good visibility, column spaces and a ceiling height of at least 30 feet.

"Ceiling height is a major player for us," Walsh said.

The Gravity Vault, which began in 2004, has two locations in New Jersey, one in Chatham and another in Upper Saddle River, with a third to open in Middletown, N.J., in early 2014.

Now, they have their sights on the Lehigh Valley.

"We felt there was a gap in the market," Walsh said.

Kovalcik said the business started offering a franchise opportunity six months ago. Additionally, Gravity Vault offers instructor certification training from the national Climbing Wall Association. Franchisees can participate in this program.

"We've seen the growth of the industry overall; we've had nine years of fairly steady growth," Walsh said.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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