By: Sebastian Herrera - Houston Chronicle
Officials at Momentum Katy, the 36,000-square-foot rock-climbing facility opening in July, have begun hiring for staff positions.
The climbing center is expected to be a significant addition to Katy Mills, an area that has become the city's entertainment hub. It will also be the first location outside of Utah for the Salt Lake City-based Momentum Indoor Climbing, as well as its largest facility.
Jeff Pedersen, CEO of Momentum, said he became interested in the Houston area because of its size and already-established culture for climbing. He chose Katy because of its location along Interstate 10, as well as its unique population.
"We like the Katy community because it's family-oriented," Pedersen said. "We all know about football in Katy but ... (Momentum Katy) will be pretty appealing for Katy residents to have an alternative sport. Climbing is now also in the 2020 Olympics, so that's driving a lot of the interest from the youth."
Momentum Katy is expected to include 29,000 square feet of roped climbing, bouldering, training walls and kids wall climbing. It will also include a roughly 5,000-square-foot cross training area and offer a yoga studio and laptop workspaces. A second-floor mezzanine will include "auto-belay" climbing and serve as a viewing area for climbing competitions. A youth program and training will also be offered.
The company is hiring for several full-time and part-time jobs, including youth program coaches, general operations personnel and specialized positions such as "route setters," who regularly change the climbing wall grips.
The facility is expected to see 1,000 to 12,000 visitors each day, Pedersen said. Membership prices and entry fees won't be announced until May.
The addition of Momentum Katy signals more growth for Katy Mills, which last year added the 25-acre Typhoon Texas WaterPark and will also be the location for the city of Katy's "Boardwalk District," a mix-use location that will feature residencies, a shopping plaza, hotel and convention center and 2.5-mile boardwalk that are all in development.
Momentum has three facilities in Utah. The company also has plans to open a smaller facility in Houston's Washington Avenue District in the fall, which Pedersen said will complement the Katy location.
Momentum has been developing climbing facilities for the past decade. Pedersen said the company also wants to use the Katy facility to train people for outdoor climbing in Austin, which has several mountainous terrains.