Bright Spot: Memphis Rox

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It's the next big thing in Soulsville.

Memphis Rox is a rock climbing gym that is 30,000 square feet of fitness and fun.

Chris Dean, the Director of Outreach is excited to show off what's happening in his neighborhood.

"We've told many people about this and they say, 'You know, it's a rock climbing gym.' They don't know what to expect," Dean said.

Memphis Rox offers high climbs and a climbing wall.

This is if you're brave enough to try.

"This is our bouldering section where you climb 15 feet with no ropes, but you fall on these two foot pad. It's very soft and very comfortable,"

There's a yoga room and weights and cardio equipment inside Memphis Rox.

The idea for the gum came after the founder, Tom Shadyac, took several groups of young Memphians to hike and rock climb.

"We took kids from LeMoyne Owen and Streets Ministries to Boulder, Colorado, and Nashville. It was all expenses paid," Shadyac said.

It was something different and something Shadyac and his team knew would work here.

"Once we saw those eye light up we said this has to be in Memphis," he said.

Dean grew up in Soulsville.

"I was raised right down the street. My daddy died right down that street. My people still stay over here," he said.

Dean says young people in the area didn't need another basketball court, so, instead, they'll have climbing walls, a juice bar and even a space to study and chill.


"It's just something that happens when you come in here man," he said.

It's location makes it a prime destination for students attending LeMoyne- Owen or The Stax Academy.

"They'll be able to come here for free. Our students and their students will be able to come here and use this facility only five hours of volunteer time," Dean said.

Dean says there will be no economic barriers.

They'll work with anyone who want to work out.

"Rock climbing gyms cost $70, $80 or $90 a month, but we're starting at $55 a month," he said.

Shoes and harnesses are available to rent.

Instructions will be there, because you can't climb alone.

Dean says climbing is about getting people together.

He says they didn't time their opening with MLK50 commemorations, he's happy it's happening.

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