Sportrock climbing centers is coming to Rio, taking over part of the space that was previously occupied by Sport & Health (Dave & Buster’s now occupies the other part of the space). Sportrock opened the first commercial climbing gym in the DC metro area approximately 28 years ago in 1994, when it opened its Rockville. That location closed in 2006, but Sportrock has continued to operate successfully in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, it’s bringing rock climbing back to Rio, where many remember the much smaller walls that were a part of Sportland in the 90s.
The Sportrock founders met while training together at Zich’s (pronounced Zeke’s) Garage, a handmade climbing gym in Washington, DC. When Zich was 19 he was looking for a place to train in the wintertime. Zich convinced his supportive parents to let me build a DIY climbing space in their freestanding car garage. When the demand outgrew the space, Sportrock founders broke off and formed Sportrock’s first location in Rockville (14708 Southlawn Ln) so they would continue to have a place to climb and train together.
Per SportRock, “We strive to be a teaching gym that delivers world-class routesetting, exceptional educational programs, and high quality fitness options to support climbers now…and for the future of the sport. That commitment began in 1994 and continues today. And it is the reason we offer:
the TALLEST walls in the Mid-Atlantic
the ONLY IFSC Regulation speed wall in the region
the ONLY multi-pitch training ledge in the country
a BRAND NEW 3,200 square foot fitness center
and the MOST HIGHLY CERTIFIED routesetting team in the industry!
From the group of founders who were simply interested in having an indoor climbing gym they could use year-round – to the incredible staff, extraordinary routesetters, remarkable members, and curious guests – our community is the reason we keep the lights on 363 days out of the year.
We love fostering and supporting our local community and are committed to making climbing accessible to everyone through inclusive and adaptive events. We also donate our services to hundreds of schools and organizations each year.”
News of Sportrock coming to Rio was first reported by the Washington Business Journal.