Distillery, climbing gym planned for downtown | SteamboatToday.com

Distillery, climbing gym planned for downtown

Scott Franz

A conceptual drawing shows what a climbing gym would look like at Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue.

— Two types of businesses Steamboat Springs doesn’t currently have are being planned for the downtown corridor.

If all goes well with a parking variance, Justin Dillie will open a climbing gym at Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue, and Nathan Newhall is on track to open the city’s first distillery on 11th Street in an industrial building that dates back to the 1940s.

"This has been a project my wife, Jessica, and I have been working on for close to six years now," Newhall said of the distillery.

Newhall did an apprenticship at a distillery in Chicago and has years of homebrewing experience.

"We’re going to focus mostly on whiskey and moonshine, and we’ll have a potato vodka and a gin," Newhall said.

The distillery will actually be a distillery pub, meaning food will be served, and visitors can enjoy the spirits in a setting similar to what they would see at a local brewery.

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Newhall said he is among the first batch of distilleries in the state to seek a distillery pub license, which wasn’t even created until April.

The distillery will also feature liquor-infused cakes.

Newhall is proud to note the buidling he is moving into is likely the most industrial building left in the Old Town limits.

"It was built in the early 1940s, and it was originally the co-op where the farmer would buy his feeds," Newhall said. "It’s been a myriad of other things since."

He is hoping to open between September and November.

Meanwhile, Dillie is working to open a climbing gym at 906 Lincoln Ave.

"I decided to try and open something I felt was lacking in Steamboat," Dillie said Thursday. "We will work with both adaptive climbers and anyone else who wants to climb."

Dillie has worked as an international outdoor guide for a decade.

"I’ve worked in Canada, China, Mexico and the Phillipines doing high ropes courses, kayaking and rock climbing," he said.

Passersby will be able to see the climbing action through the large windows that front Lincoln Avenue.

Dillie also hopes to allow climbers to access the gym after hours.

He is aiming to open the climbing gym in December before Christmas.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10