Call it a homecoming if you will, Planet Granite is finally returning to Santa Clara, the place where it all started. The rock climbing gym is opening up a new location on Martin Avenue this fall.
Planet Granite is putting the finishing touches on its new gym just across the street from The Home Depot.
“The Santa Clara gym is going to be the same community and feel and the welcoming environment that you get with the Sunnyvale location or the Belmont location or in San Francisco,” said Tori Barnett, Marketing Director for Planet Granite. “The big difference here is that it’s going to be a bouldering only gym.”
Bouldering is rock climbing without the ropes or harnesses, and the demand for it is huge.
“It’s a very popular activity among our members at the Sunnyvale and Belmont locations and our members have asked for expansions particularly in the bouldering area of the facility,” said Barnett. “It also has to do with architecture and building that we actually end up in, what makes the most sense.”
When it opens in the next few months, the Santa Clara location will offer a multitude of bouldering classes. It will also house a full yoga studio and a fitness center.
Barnett says the growth of rock climbing as a sport is what really made this Santa Clara homecoming possible.
“Climbing is such a growing activity; such a full mental and physical activity that people tend to stick with,” said Barnett. “We keep our members for long periods of time and the excitement of always having new routes or problems to climb; different kinds of yoga classes to go to is something that our members have always taken to and that’s something that we continue to provide since the 90s.”
Planet Granite’s roots in Santa Clara run all the way back to the 90s. In 1994, founder Micky Lloyd opened the first Planet Granite at 2901 Mead Ave. in Santa Clara.
Lloyd’s gym was deeply involved in the Santa Clara community and it continues to work with the City’s youth and fire department through a program called Better Together.
“Better Together is a volunteer-based mentorship program between members of the Santa Clara City Fire Department and local middle school aged youth focusing on developing leadership skills around communication, self-awareness, inclusivity, vulnerability, teamwork and community outreach,” said Nick Gerrard, Area Director for Planet Granite.
Every year, Planet Granite donates time, space, and equipment for the students of the Better Together program to complete a day of climbing.
“They challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone, build trust, make connections, and become more comfortable in an unfamiliar setting,” Gerrard continued.
Since its founding in 1994, Planet Granite has gone through a series of changes. It teamed up with an East Coast climbing company called Earth Treks in 2017 and the two formed a new company called El Cap.
Since the merger, the company has expanded and is opening two gyms this fall, the one in Santa Clara and another in Southern California. El Cap CEO Robert Cohen says the location of the Santa Clara was strategically chosen.
“We understand that commuting is a major pain point for our members,” said Cohen. “While scouting this location, we not only focused on spaces that would allow us to provide the ultimate in climbing experiences, but also a space that offers easy access and an abundance of parking.”
There is still not an exact date for the Santa Clara gym’s opening. For more information, visit planetgranite.com.