When the founders of Movement Climbing + Fitness, Mike and Anne Moelter, first approached Hank Grant and Justin Riley of Rayback Collective in 2017, they had a vision of a community space like none other in Colorado. The idea was to marry some of Colorado’s most beloved activities under one roof — a space where Denver dwellers can stay fit, stay caffeinated, eat, drink, socialize and thrive.
The two businesses are making this a reality by combining their respective concepts under one 50,000-square-foot building in the RiNo neighborhood. The Rayback Collective, opened in 2016, is known as Boulder’s first permanent beer garden and food truck park whereas Movement has two rock climbing gyms, one in Boulder and another in Denver.
“Mike and Anne had already purchased the 50,000 square foot building in RiNo when they approached us with the idea of collaborating, and we loved it,” said Grant.
Opening summer of 2018, the location will be one part Movement and one part Rayback which will be called Improper City.
The gym portion will be the largest of Movement Climbing + Fitness’s other facilities and will feature a modified bouldering concept as well as more than 50 yoga and fitnesses classes per week for members. For Improper City you’ll find a cafe, co-working spaces, an indoor bar, an outdoor beer garden, rotating roster of food trucks and Denver’s largest outdoor patio (12,000 square feet) as well as an indoor stage and event area. In addition to the stacked line-up that both Movement and Improper City have planned for the location, the space will also feature live music and art on a weekly basis.
“We want people to be able to finish their workout and grab a coffee while also having access to high-quality internet and a co-working space,” expressed Grant. “In Boulder, Rayback is a place for the community to socialize. We host birthday parties, company parties and buyouts so we’re hoping to take that energy and transfer it here to Denver.”
Rayback Collective decided to change the name to Improper City based on a story they heard about how an immigrant once described Denver.
“Rose Kingsley was an English immigrant making her way across the plain states,” explained Grant. “She made the statement upon arriving in Denver that it was as if the angels were carrying the city to a proper place, and dropped it here. Denver’s just this weird town on the Platte at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and we’ve been able to keep the city alive and thriving in what some would deem an improper place.”
RiNo is a quirky neighborhood in former industrial Denver, littered with art studios, breweries, coffee shops and funky bars — a place some would say is “improper” in and of itself. For this reason, Grant says, Improper City honors both the present and past of Denver.
“The combination of rock climbing, coffee, pastries, beer, cocktails and a co-working space is an unconventional combination,” said Grant. “Some would even call it improper.”
Though these two businesses will occupy the same building in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, they will operate independently. The location, 3201 Walnut Street, is scheduled to open this summer, 2018. The hours of the location have yet to be announced.