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Gym Spotlight

The Sweetest Climbing Wall in the World

The new Sugar Factory Las Vegas restaurant features candy-loaded drinks, massive dessert platters… and a gumdrop climbing wall?

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Diabetic shock and alcohol poisoning go hand in hand at the Sugar Factory, where visitors shell out $40 for bowling-ball-sized goblets of brightly colored liquors, adorned with gummy worms, licorice, rock candy, and more. 

Ohhh… and they have an auto belay climbing wall, so you can ride off your sugar high while climbing.

The Willy Wonka-esque restaurant chain, which operates locations from the Bahamas to Dubai to New York to Biloxi (for some reason?), has just opened a new site in Las Vegas, at 3717 South Las Vegas Boulevard, off the strip next to Planet Hollywood. 

This new 14,000-square-foot location opened September 4th and is celebrating the launch with two nights of festivities on September 18th and 19th, hosted by socialite Scott Disick and DJ Pauly D of Jersey Shore.

Aside from being outrageously expensive, Sugar Factory drinks are notable for being designed and tasted by a variety of celebrities, including Pitbull, The Rock, Snoop Dogg, Kendall Jenner, Travis Scott, and 50 Cent. 

The drink I ordered, the Strawberry Cadillac Respoado Margarita, was designed by fashion designer John Varvatos and singer Nick Jonas.

The restaurant is also home to exotic desserts, such as the $99 “World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae,” which contains (get ready…) 24 scoops of ice cream drizzled with chocolate, caramel, and strawberry sauce, topped with whipped cream, caramelized bananas, marshmallows, chocolate chip cookie pieces, a glazed donut, a red velvet cupcake, white chocolate strawberry curls, gummy bears, Reese’s Pieces, crushed Oreos, rainbow and chocolate sprinkles, graham cracker crumble, waffle cones, unicorn pops, candy necklaces, gummy cherries… and sparklers. 

Jesus Christ.

The World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae, for $99. (Photo: Sugar Factory Facebook)

The Sugar Factory also has meals, like an array of “Rainbow Sliders,” multi-colored burgers that come with a complimentary duck. The restaurant, predictably, houses a candy store inside, which contains more than 500 types of candy.

Unlike other Sugar Factory locations, including the former Las Vegas one, the new multi-leveled Sugar Factory is also home to a climbing wall, which runs from the ground floor up to the top floor of the restaurant. Sadly, the 10-meter (32 ft) climbing wall was inoperable when I visited this week, only a week after the restaurant opened on September 4th. Though auto belays are hooked up and some holds are in place, the manager said they have yet to hire people to run the wall, nor to procure the proper insurance. The wall doesn’t exactly look like stellar climbing, the holds are the typical identical micro jugs you find at the pop-up climbing towers in county fairs, theme parks, and other tourist attractions. 

The Sugar Factory Las Vegas climbing wall. Look closely and you will see the small white jugs intended for climbing. (Photo: Owen Clarke)

That said, if you attempted to climb exclusively on the gumdrop dots (which appear to be there mostly for aesthetic value), the route would likely go hard 5.14, at least. Maybe instead of Pitbull and The Rock, we can get Adam Ondra to design the next Sugar Factory cocktail…

Regardless of my inability to climb, the location does market itself as “one of the most Instagrammable restaurants on the Strip” (???) with a variety of neon artwork walls adorned with sayings such as “Viva Las Vegas,” “Vegas Baby,” and “I fell in love today.” 

So, to make up for the lack of climbing, I took a few classy photos of myself.

The Verdict:

  • Would I recommend you go to the Sugar Factory as a climber? No. 
  • Would I recommend you go there as a drinker? Probably not, either. You’d go into a sugar-induced coma (or max out your credit card) before becoming drunk on these ludicrously sugary and expensive cocktails. 

However, if sweets are your thing (and especially if you have a Sugar Daddy/Mama to foot the bill)… Well then, maybe the Sugar Factory will be up your alley.

The author, Owen Clarke, enjoys a $40 marg.