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Adventure Rock opened the doors of its brand new East Side location on Saturday, June 18. The new gym is situated along the Milwaukee River and Beerline Bike Trail at the intersection of Milwaukee’s vibrant East Side and Riverwest neighborhoods.
As early as 1 a.m., dedicated climbers were waiting in line to set first chalky fingers on the dozens of new climbing routes spread out over 16,000 square feet and up walls as high as 42 feet.
Patrons camped out as early as 1 a.m. to get a first look at the new facility.
To keep up the excitement, a prizes were given away to the first 50 people waiting in line, as well as a chance to grab swag that sailed over head as it was launched from a compressed air cannon.
Trevor Dralle, 18, and David Jeatran, 19, camped outside as early as 1 a.m. to be the first climbers in the gym. Dralle has been climbing since he was 14. Jeatran has been climbing for about a year.
The gym is open for climbing today until 4 p.m. After which, it will temporarily close and reopen at 7 with live music and additional entertainment.
The "climber’s ribbon cutting ceremony" opened the day and featured Milwaukee business and community leaders, including representatives from Mandel Group, Johnson-Schmaling Architects, Greenfire, River Revitalization Foundation and El Dorodo Climbing.
Political leaders, including the East Side's County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman, Milwaukee County Supervisor David Satori and Ald. Nik Kovac were also present.
Kovac exclaimed, "I have never seen such enthusiasm [for a project] like this." Each representative took turns setting the starting hold of Adventure Rock Milwaukee’s new climbing routes.
Patrons entertained themselves with slack lines, snacks and swag shot from an air cannon.
Adventure Rock offers drop-in pricing or monthly memberships to all levels of climbers and are open to the public from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.