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Crux Collective Invests $2.9 Million in Brooklyn- and Long Beach-Based Climbing Gyms

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On July 16, Austin-based investment group Crux Collective invested $2.9 million in two climbing gyms: VITAL Climbing Gym, in Brooklyn, New York, and Long Beach Rising, in Long Beach, California.

Crux Collective is a newly formed organization, established by the executive team behind Texas-based Crux Climbing Center. Over the past four years, the Crux executive team, Kevin Goradia, Grace Nicholas and Alejandro Navarro, helped grow Crux into a multi-million dollar climbing facility that has since expanded to two additional locations. The Crux Collective, which was officially launched last March, will provide gyms across the U.S. with financial and operational support, while empowering them to sustain their own local identity.

“When COVID came around, we knew there was going to be a need for an access to capital,” says Goradia, Crux’s chief executive officer to Gym Climber. “We have access to capital. And we have a strong management team. And those two things, I think, were very badly needed in some climbing gyms.”

Chief Operating and Marketing Officer Nicholas added:  “There’s not many options out there for companies to get funds or collaborate. So that was kind of the thought—that we could support other gyms and make a collective that can share ideas as well.”

Long Beach Rising (LBR) and VITAL Climbing Gym were chosen after months of phone calls and conversations with various gym owners. When asked what it was that made those two gyms standout, Goradia answered:  

“One of the reasons we picked VITAL and Long Beach is we have no intention of changing things. There’s a movement in the industry of venture capital or private equity coming in and changing the gym’s culture. We go kind of the opposite way. We like the way they [VITAL and LBR] do things. We think they do them well, and we’re just here to kind of help support them if they need it.”

Long Beach Rising offers more than just bouldering—climbers may also enjoy a fitness area, yoga studio, sauna, lounge area and an in-house café.

LBR, which opened its doors in January, 2019, was an adaptive reuse project involving the conversion of an old building to the current gym. 

“Long Beach Rising has a purposely small footprint to ensure we capture our members’ needs, something larger gyms frankly can’t do,” stated Grayston Leonard, founder of Long Beach Rising, in a press release. “We will use funding from the Crux Collective to expand our offerings and ensure that our space remains representative of our members and their lifestyles.” 

VITAL Climbing Center Brooklyn will feature rooftop bouldering, yoga, studio cycling, youth programs, aerial silks and more.

VITAL is another community-centric gym with locations in California, Washington and New York. VITAL offers its members a space to not only climb, but also connect with others and learn new skills. The Collective’s support will go to VITAL’s newest New York location, which is set to open this fall. 

Goradia attributes Crux’s success to their efforts to stay connected and personable with their community. Goradia, Nicholas and Navarro hope to help VITAL and LBR do the same. The Crux Collective is also seeking new investment opportunities. For more information, contact 

Feature image, from left to right, shows Kevin Goradia, Alejandro Navarro and Grace Nicholas. 

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