Petra Cliffs has been a fixture in the Burlington, Vermont community since its foundation in 2000. Through Petra Cliffs, we have a hunger to provide greater meaning to people's lives: climbing, adventure, recreation and education have reached over a half million people in Vermont, the Northeast, nationwide, and globally. As a sport that is accessible to all ages and abilities, Petra Cliffs provides a lifestyle as much as a physical challenge and a community as much as a gym.
A 2019 American Alpine Club State of Climbing Report sheds light on a rapidly growing sport, contributing over $12 billion to the US economy. In the modern era of climbing, and as we have seen the sport's debut in the 2020 Olympics, Petra Cliffs is excited to grow its resources and continue to provide the best in instruction, education, climbing resources, health, wellness, and programming to our community and far beyond.
Petra Cliffs is underway with plans to build a ground up, modern climbing gym and community facility just a few hundred feet away from its current location, abutting City Market's South End store. In February 2019 the parcel of land at 75 Briggs Street was purchased with help of our investors, and we are keeping the offering open for additional capital towards the building construction and climbing walls. Help us cross the finish line for this Burlington fixture to continue to serve its community, which reaches far beyond the walls!
Update: October 13, 2023
Despite the lack of visual evidence, the project is still moving forward! When we began this project, Burlington Public Works asked if we could delay our project until the Champlain Parkway was completed. At that time, we did not believe the Parkway would happen (it had already been delayed for over 20 years!), so we said no, and proceeded with the project design, permitting, etc. After being fully permitted, we experienced a series of events no one could have predicted- environmental delays from the state, a serious accident, Covid-19 pandemic, and the changes to the construction environment after Covid-19... and then the post-pandemic increase in business and people wanting social connection, ways to stay active, and ways to be outdoors in new ways. Over the past couple years, we have found ourselves working IN the business more than expected, in order to keep up with our growing programs and member base.
And guess what? The majority of the Champlain Parkway in front of our current and new site is completed, and it was indeed a big help to the City that construction crews were able to use our open lot as a staging site for materials and vehicles. The streets of Burlington definitely stayed cleaner because trucks didn't have to trek through town to deliver dirt. In the process of the Parkway construction, we were able to work with crews to get our site more ready for development: sewer and water connections are in the correct places so that we don't have to later dig up the new street, and our future curb cuts are in place, with two large stands of trees removed to make that possible.
Alongside the new Parkway is a recreation path, and we have already seen the benefit of access to the South End from that-- people pushing strollers, taking walks, riding bikes, walking dogs, people who have never been this far South in the South End before.
We look forward to producing more visible milestones for you in the months to come, with a goal of breaking ground when our contractors give us the green light. Spring 2024 is the hope, we will continue updates here as we have them.
Andrea & Steve Charest
The building site is located at 75 Briggs Street in Burlington, Vermont. New Construction of approximately 13,390 square feet (approximate 9,405 sf building footprint) is organized on two stories, including a first story mezzanine. The top story contains 1,725 sf of enclosed building area and provides access to an open rooftop of approximately 1,388 sf.
- Lot Size: 1.67 acres
- Building Size: 13,390 gsf (9,405 sf footprint)
- Lobby/Lounge, Office Space, 2 Classrooms, Yoga Studio (735 sf), Classroom Space, Open Rooftop
- 2 Restrooms with Showers / 2 Single Neutral Baths (one with shower)
- 3-Stop Elevator
- Energy Modeling performed for high energy efficiency, 10 year payback
- Building will be net-zero ready, discussions ongoing for solar to complete net-zero
- Significant incentives & rebates offered by Burlington Electric Department
- Over 10,500 square feet of climbing (toprope, lead & autobelay)
- Over 5,100 square feet of bouldering, not including training walls
- 15m speed climbing wall, 2 lanes with autobelays
- Bouldering tunnel, approx 12' wide, 20' long
- 2 training walls (adjustable Kilter and Tension)
- Campus boards/training station
- Free weights
- Enclosed cardio room
- Climbing clinics for all ages & abilities
- Fitness classes for general fitness to sport-specific
- 735 sq ft yoga room with roll up garage door, expanding onto 1,388 sq ft roof deck
- Yoga, meditation, barre, and other classes
American Alpine Club 2019 State of Climbing Report - Quick Facts:
- In 2014, it was estimated that there were 7.7 million participants in climbing, up 6% over the previous year.
- 65% of all climbers are between the ages of 18 - 35 years old.
- As of 2018, 4.4% of all Americans climb indoors.
- Indoor climbers, or those who climb in gyms, make up 52% of the climbing population.
- Climbing as a whole contributed $12,450,000,000 to the economy in 2017.
- More than 25,000 watched the UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Finals in Denver, CO in 2019, making it the largest live climbing competition in world history.
- 57% of climbing areas are located on federally managed lands.
- Climbers contributed more than 65,544 volunteer hours toward conservation and land stewardship efforts in 2018 through the Access Fund’s Adopt-a-Crag Program.
- Across U.S. climbing gyms, there were just .007 reported incidents per 1000 visitor hours; when compared to a national average in CrossFit of 2.3 injuries per 1000 training hours, climbing gyms have an exceedingly low rate of injury.
- Beginning in 2019 ESPN will begin televised coverage of National Championship Climbing Competitions.