$1M indoor obstacle, fitness center in south Charlotte focuses on personal growth

Posted November 9, 2016 by Jennifer Thomas in the Charlotte Business Journal.

This indoor obstacle-based challenge and fitness center in south Charlotte is poised to push users to new heights.

Kinetic Heights will shine a spotlight on quality family time and personal growth when it opens on Friday — also a holiday for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, says Steve Gruendel.

A grand-opening celebration takes place on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Gruendel and Wilbur Long co-founded the Kinetic Heights concept. The idea dates back to a YMCA program they participated in with their children, which pushed kids to step outside of their shell and take on new challenges.

Roughly $1 million has been invested in that project to create a 22,000-square-foot-facility in the Providence Square Shopping Center at 5564 International Drive.

“We think what we’re building really hits a need,” Gruendel says.

He sees additional locations in the future, including a second in the Charlotte market and another within a 100-mile radius.

“We have designed everything in here with an eye honed on perfecting the system and doing it again,” he says.

Kinetic Heights offers a mix of high- and low-ropes courses — taking advantage of 25-foot ceilings— with elements that force users to traverse and climb while expanding their skills, testing and pushing their limits. There’s also 125-foot tandem zip lines, a bouldering wall and an obstacle training course.

A warrior obstacle course is available for those looking to perfect their skills — and possibly snag a spot on TV’s American Ninja Warrior.

“The stuff you see here is really hard. It’s challenging, but it’s doable,” Gruendel says.

The facility will have multiple purposes during a typical day.

For example, on weekdays from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m., fitness classes include options such as boot camp and circuit training.

Group events fill the heart of the day, with the facility opening its doors to schools, businesses and others looking to promote confidence and team-building skills.

It then offers “open play” from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m.

There’s also a space for adventure birthday parties and a leadership room for corporate team building events. Teens can take advantage of the Friday Night Heights program that utilizes the high-ropes course.

“Fun is the hook,” says Brian Capron, executive director. “This is all about intentional personal growth.”

He and wife Linda Chapman-Capron previously operated Charlotte Outdoor Adventure Center, also focusing on using obstacle courses to promote team building.

Monthly memberships at Kinetic Heights are available starting at $49. Day passes are also available, and the facility will launch a Give Back Program that provides free or reduced programming.

Robby Kirby with MPV Properties was the leasing agent. Property landlord Daniel Levine represented himself.

Steve Onxley, with Onxley Architecture, was behind the project’s design.