Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony Bruno.
Anthony, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2009, we opened as a small co-op bouldering space. The single warehouse unit was a glorified garage that we filled with handmade climbing walls and donated fitness equipment. For years the gym’s community grew slowly. Local climbers and people moving to the area heard about our 24/7 co-op bouldering space when looking for rock climbing gyms in the area. In 2012, with a solid group of core members to the co-op, the gym expanded and opened it’s doors to everyone with the addition of business hours and front desk staff.
From then on, we’ve just tried to make the DBC a better gym and training facility for our members and guests. As more people came by, we built new walls and leased more units. In 2014, we opened DBC South in Englewood. DBC South is a smaller gym that offers a less intimidating wall layout and cozy climbing space. It’s vastly different in style and setting from our Central location, offering our climbers diversity in their climbing training, style, and terrain.
In 2020 we’ll open our doors in Thornton at a massive new facility. DBC North will have more training space and a larger yoga studio than our other gyms. Its lower level will be all bouldering and have as much climbing terrain as our Central gym. It will also have a small espresso bar and be dog-friendly! We’re psyched to continue the DBC in Thornton! Members who join the DBC get access to all facilities.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Whenever you’re putting your heart and soul into a business and community there’s going to be some struggles. Luckily, the DBC has remained successful in an increasingly demanding market. Throughout our 10 years, we’ve seen smaller, community owned gyms close and multi-million dollar climbing facilities open. Whenever a bigger gym came to town, yea it was a bit worrying. It’s hard to compete with someone that just has a bigger wallet.
But we were never really daunted. The DBC knows exactly what it’s all about: bouldering. We never struggled to find our footing there. We care about the space and the routes we put out. We care about our community of climbers (members and guests alike) and want all of us to share climbing together and have fun doing it. It seems the people have been receptive to our genuine approach towards climbing and community.
Please tell us about your business.
We’re still a co-op at heart. Most of the management, staff, and setting team are all climbers from the first few years of the DBC. All of us work together to continually make the DBC the kind of bouldering gym we’d want to join. We’re all here full-time and when we clock-out, we put our climbing shoes back on and boulder with our friends and members. All the money that has gone into the DBC has been put right back into our gym to improve our members’ experience. Whether it be new holds, new training equipment, new amenities, new retail/snacks, or new climbing walls, if our members want it and we have space, time, and money, it’s happening.
The Denver Bouldering Club is the climbers’ climbing gym. We’re welcoming and humble. It’s authentic and simple. It’s exactly what I think the climbing community should be about.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Probably would have had our murals and art hung in the gym sooner! Seems like we climbed in a dusty warehouse with bare walls for a few years. I dig all the art that’s getting hung and painted at the gyms now!
- $17 Day Pass
- $80 per month for 24/7 Access (No sign-up fees. ever.)
- $59 per month for Business Hour Access (No sign-up fees. ever.)
- Address: DBC CENTRAL: 2485 W. 2nd Ave #20 Denver, CO 80223
DBC SOUTH: 4131 S. Natches Ct. Unit E Englewood, CO 80110
- Website: www.denverboulderingclub.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/denverboulderingclub/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DenverBoulderingClub/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/denvboulderclub?lang=en
Assorted Photographers: Jeff Riley and Nate Davison from the DBC commercial. Jason Anderson from Red Cliff. Michael Emery Hecker from Heart and Soul 2019.