Letter From Our Founder
Redmond VW closing March 31st.
To Vertical World Community,
As many of you know, sadly, we are closing the Redmond Vertical World in April of this year. I wanted to express my thoughts to you personally about the closing of the gym.
The Redmond gym was built in 1992, with much help from the climbing community. This was before route setting, foam landing surfaces, belay-checks, and expensive insurance policies. The foundation of the Redmond gym was strongly rooted in the local climbing community. I remember the long nights trying to get the gym open with Bryan Burdo, Arron Houseknecht, Dave Haavik, Steve Grossman, Matt Gaspers, and many more devoted employees and members. I remember Burdo shoveling gravel into the late hours, like a well oiled machine; the rest of us screwing panels onto walls until our elbows went numb. It was an exciting time, although I was not sure the idea of a gym in that area would work. It eventually did work, because of the strong support from the members and the community. It is amazing to think of all the people who graced that facility over the years. All the countless relationships, young kids developing through our programs and adopting climbing as a part of their lives, community events, and the overall sharing of the passion for climbing.
This is a tough pill to swallow. We sensed a while back that this was going to happen. When the building was bought by a PE firm out of the Bay area and our lease was coming to an end, it was clear that we were not a desirable tenant for our new landlord and negotiations did not go in our favor. We had a vision of upgrading the entire gym into a first-class facility. Unfortunately it did not work out as we wished.
This is not the end of Vertical World on the East Side. We have been through a lot in our history. We get knocked down and fight our way back up. We are not going anywhere. We will back and we will be better for it.
Thank you so much for all the good years at the Redmond Vertical World.
Rich Johnston, Founder (Head Janitor)
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