TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Climbing enthusiasts will have a new venue to visit once Gemstone Climbing opens at the end of the year.

The company held a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site, 135 5th Ave. S., on Wednesday evening. More than 100 people turned out for the event that included food, alcoholic beverages, and speeches by Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce members, including President Shawn Barigar, and those involved with the project.

The business is a joint venture by Hailey Barnes and her dad, Don Campbell, as well as other local enthusiasts.

“Most of us are from this area and we’re all climbers,” Barnes, who will be the general manager, told News Radio 1310 in a separate interview on Wednesday. “We really felt like Twin Falls needed something like this.”

She said they’ve been talking about opening a facility for the past seven years, and now with new development in the area it seemed liked the perfect time.

“We said we better do it now or someone else will beat us to the punch,” she said.

After his speech, in which he thanked the community for its support, Campbell, Barnes and others involved with the project walked to the groundbreaking site, north of grain silos on Shoshone Street, and shoveled dirt in a ceremony to mark the occasion.

When complete, the facility will be about 15,000 square feet – 12,000 of it devoted to climbing, Barnes said. It also will have yoga and physical therapy rooms. Ceilings will reach 40 feet tall, with between 35 to 38 feet of it for climbing space.

Campbell said professional climbers have reviewed the building plans and are excited about what it will offer.

The climbing facility should open by the end of the year, Barnes said.

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