Rock On Climbing owners Cole and Amanda Lund had been dreaming of opening a rock climbing and slacklining gym for years. In 2010, they got serious about starting the business. The Lunds wanted to take advantage of their 8-plus years of expertise and use it to offer the Mat-Su Valley a local rock gym that met a variety of needs for the community. Open from 12pm to 10pm every day, Rock On Climbing is available to homeschoolers interested in adding some variety to their physical education, beginners looking to take classes and rock climbing enthusiasts who want the opportunity to do what they love year round. They also offer a variety of services including top-rope climbing, slacklining, bouldering, highlining, yoga and ,to top it all off, a fitness center.
Opening the gym was not an easy endeavor for the Lunds. In order to offer their clients everything a full-service rock climbing gym requires, their location and building needed to be customizable, with high ceilings and plenty of room. They also had to purchase and install all of the proper equipment. With those hefty start-up costs in mind, The Lunds visited the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Wasilla. Julie Nolen worked with them to create financial projections that were realistic and detailed enough for a loan application. Nolen worked with the Lunds over several years before Rock On Climbing opened in late 2013.
Now that they are open, the Lunds have found creative ways to market their business including movie nights, an Instagram and Facebook photo contest and exercise classes like hot yoga that bring in new clientele. They continue to check in with Nolen periodically on the status of the business.
“We’ve been working with the SBDC since the very beginning, when our idea was just a dream. It is great to have a local business expert available to help point us in the right direction” said Cole, “Whenever we have a question or need guidance, we contact Julie”.
You can visit Rock On Climbing at their location 1080 Wasilla Fishook, Wasilla AK 99654. They are also online at rockonwasilla.com and on Facebook where they post updates and special events.