5- A rock climbing gym in life dreams of growing despite the epidemic losses

Overcoming adversity and charting a path to success are just a few of the reasons why Mardi, Matt Roberts and their four children fell in love with rock climbing. This led them to a friendship and eventual partnership with Carrie and Alexis Ruckus, owners of the indoor rock-climbing gym at Vertical Adventures.

For Alexis Rokus, the fear factor is motivation. “If you don’t put yourself in a situation where you don’t feel a little intimidated, it’s hard to grow,” he says. All of these skills were needed as couples of entrepreneurs made their way through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and came close to the lockdown-induced freefall.

Vertical Adventures rock climbing gym

Roccos Vertical Adventures, Columbus’ first indoor rock-climbing gym, opened in 1994. The timing was right, climbing became commonplace, and the first wave of indoor facilities opened. Throw near the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, one of the top climbing destinations in the country, and the gym kicks off. “We’ve outgrown the space pretty quickly,” Alexis says. “We knew that if we wanted to grow, we had to build something bigger or else someone else would come into town and build something bigger.”

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