DynoClimb, a rock-climbing gym with a dinosaur theme, is setting up shop in the former longtime home of Jerry’s Body Shop at 528 S. Woodland Blvd. in Downtown DeLand. The gym gets its name as a play on “dinosaurs” and “dyno,” a term climbers use for an aggressive style of climbing tactic using a dynamic movement.
DynoClimb is co-owned by brothers Britt and Johnathan Frankel and Dennis DeSantis, an uncle of Britt Frankel’s wife, Michelle Frankel.
Britt and Michelle Frankel are the on-site management team for the climbing gym (she’s the safety/administration director), while Johnathan Frankel and DeSantis live in Ohio.
“Climbing has been our passion for a long time,” said Britt Frankel, explaining he had been a sporting-goods store manager for many years before deciding to pursue his entrepreneurial interests. “This is both worlds coming together.”
“We wanted to do a family business that would impact the community in a big way,” said Michelle Frankel. “There is nothing quite like the climbing community.”
Britt, 32, said DeLand is centrally located amid other climbing gyms in Jacksonville, Longwood and Tampa. Plus, it’s the town in which Michelle, now 33, grew up before she got her degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and then started her working career in Chicago.
Climbing was an important part of their personal lives. In fact, the couple’s first date was at an indoor rock-climbing facility — the same place where he proposed to her two years later.
Four years ago, as the couple was starting a family, Michelle convinced Britt to move to DeLand. Now, with daughters ages 4 and 2, the Frankels are set on creating a unique attraction that will appeal to adults, children, students, and corporate or business clients.
“Climbing has so many benefits that it’s hard to list them all. But mentally, physically, and ultimately in a primal manner of transcending an obstacle, climbing becomes a fun and functional fitness option for just about any age group or experience level,” Britt said in an earlier email.
DynoClimb will have walls up to 25 feet high for rope climbers, with four of the nine stations having auto-belays for more experienced climbers.
Climbing routes are called “problems,” Britt said. Climbers have to figure out their moves ahead of time, planning their most efficient route up the wall.
The facility will also have walls up to 16 feet high for those who want to “boulder,” or climb without the use of ropes or harnesses.
There will also be two rooms that can be reserved for training or parties. DynoClimb also will offer yoga and fitness classes.
Membership fees are discounted until DynoClimb opens, and the cost varies depending on what kind of membership is desired and how someone is billed. Go to www.dynoclimb.com for details.
“There are a lot of options,” Michelle said.
The Frankels are aiming at a mid- to late-July opening for DynoClimb. They’re already members of the MainStreet DeLand Association, and plan to become Chamber of Commerce members.
“We will be very involved in the community,” Britt said.