Sequence Climb Draws Swinging Crowd to Crossroads Opening

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Graham and Dara Hess were thrilled at the big turnout for the grand opening of Sequence Climbing.

By Kevin Collison

Sequence Climb threw a grand opening party last weekend that drew almost 500 people to cling and swing over its 10,000 square-feet of climbing surfaces.

“The community has rallied around us and we’ve made a ton of good friends,” said co-owner Graham Hess. “There’s been a huge outpouring of support from a ton of people.”

The new “bouldering gym” and fitness center at 1710 Washington is part of a round of new activity that’s waking up what Hess described as a “sleepy industrial” street.

He and his wife Dara moved here from Salt Lake City last year to bring bouldering to Kansas City. Its a method of climbing done without ropes or harnesses.

Routes or “problems” require the climber to unlock the “sequence” of moves necessary to achieve the top.

Sequence Climb specializes in bouldering, a climbing method based on problem solving.

Hess noted that 80 percent of people who climb indoors never even try it outside, and the turnout Saturday reinforced how many people do it just for the fun and exercise.

“It’s not just associated with mountains,” he said, “although there is phenomenal bouldering within a four-hour drive of Kansas City.”

The new facility also has the strong support the Kansas City Climbing Community organization which had a booth at the grand opening along with several other groups.

Hess expected 200 or 300 people at most to show up, and was blown away when the attendance tallied 489 by the end of the day.

A series of soft openings occurred throughout January to help Sequence solve its own challenges of making sure the facility was ready for business.

“We concentrated our market effort in the downtown area,” he said. “A lot of it was social media, but we also were putting cards out.

“Other businesses believe we add value to the neighborhood and let us put cards up.”

Sequence Climb is open from noon to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. An individual membership is $65 per month; couples, $109, and families are charged the couples rate plus $25 per child. A day pass costs $17.

In addition to the climbing surfaces, the building has a strength training room and a yoga room. Yoga classes are offered Monday through Thursday nights and during the day Saturday. There are classes in bouldering offered too.

At some point, Hess said Sequence may offer guided bouldering trips to members to climbing areas in the Ozarks.

“We’re psyched to be here,” he said. “We’re here for the long term.”

Graham Hess said 80 percent of people who enjoy indoor climbing leave it at that.

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