Kevin Goradia, the owner and founder of Crux Climbing Center in South Austin is super passionate about climbing. He’s climbed his whole life, and he worked as a route setter when he was younger. But when you talk to him about his business he mostly talks about creating a community. Since I am obsessed with trying to understand the creative process people go through when they are building things, meeting Kevin got me to wondering about the creativity behind building a business that is focused on community.
What are the big and little decisions that have to be made? What does it look like to start a business like that? Why should a climbing gym be more than just a gym? Check out my interview with Kevin below to see what I found out.
I discovered Crux Climbing Center six months after they opened, and the things they were doing to create a space that encourages community got me interested in climbing again. I was never that excited about climbing indoors, but I love communities built around shared interests. That’s what Crux is trying to build – a place that is more than just a climbing gym – a place to hang out doing things you love.
Another thing that makes Crux feel like a creative community space – when Crux opened they had these big blank walls. When people came to the gym, a number of climbers who were also artists asked if they could use the wall space to create works, and Crux gave them a blank canvas.
As a climber, I also found myself interested in the creative process behind route setting in a gym. I always thought that looked super fun, so I talked to a few of the route setters to ask them about the creativity in it. Kevin and his route setters had some interesting things to say on that topic.