Memphis Rox brings new experience, hang out spot to local community

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s 30,000 square feet of climbing and fitness 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 uh you know it’s a rock climbing gym they don’t know what to expect.”
Memphis Rox offers high climbs, a climbing wall, and, for those brave enough, the bouldering section.

“This is our bouldering section where you climb up 15 feet no ropes but you fall on these two foot pads. It’s very soft and very comfortable.”

There’s also a yoga room, weights and cardio equipment inside Memphis Rox. The idea for the gym came after the founder, Tom Shadyac, took several groups of young Memphians to hike and rock climb.

“We took kids from LeMoyne-Owen , Streets Ministries, to Boulder, Colorado, Telluride and Nashville all expenses paid.”

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

“Once we saw those eyes light up we said this has to be in Memphis.”

Dean grew up in this area.

“I was raised right down the street. My daddy died right down that street. My people still stay over here – aunties, uncles.”

He said young people in the area didn’t need another basketball court, so instead they will have climbing walls, a juice bar and even a space to study and chill. Its 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. Their students will be able to come here and use this facility for only five hours of volunteer time.”

Dean said there will be no economic barriers. They’ll work with anyone who wants to work out

“Rock climbing gyms cost $70, $80, $90 a month. We’re starting at $55 a month.”

Shoes and harnesses are available to rent. Instructors will be there because you can’t climb alone.

Dean said climbing is about getting people together.