Andy interviews Chris DiMatteo, assistant manager at Gravity Vault in Chatham. The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms’ mission is to make everyone’s rock climbing experience a positive and memorable one, welcoming young and old, big and small, novice and expert, to challenge themselves each day.
Founded by Lucas Kovalcik and Tim Walsh in 2005, the first Gravity Vault location opened in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey and grew its programing to include memberships, private climbing sessions, birthday parties, camps, competitive climbing teams, belay classes and more. Since then, its second location opened in Chatham, New Jersey, and The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms has continued its expansion through franchised locations in New York, Pennsylvania, and beyond.
Year Established: 2005
Type of Business: Fitness
As of January 2019, there are 9 Gravity Vault locations in NJ, NY and PA with several more under development.
Here are the NJ locations:
Brick – coming soon
40 Watchung Avenue
Chatham, NJ 07928
17 Minneakoning Road
Flemington, NJ 08822
1423 Clinton St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
37 Kanes Lane
Middletown, NJ 07748
107 Pleasant Avenue
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
333 Preston Ave.
Voorhees, NJ 08043
Local ties: Owner, Lucas Kovalcik, was born and raised in Northern New Jersey and after living in New York and California returned to New Jersey to start The Gravity Vault back in 2005. He now resides in NJ with his wife and children.
Community causes: We often say that when we open climbing gyms that we open them not just to cater to the climbers in the community but to introduce the community to climbing. It is a phenomenal sport and fitness experience for kids and adults alike. Climbing is also the only sport that allows families to participate together while individually challenging each person with climbs that challenge them at their individual fitness level. And climbing is a great sport that focuses on the mind and body. We pride ourselves on continuing to connect to each community in which we operate by helping to raise money for local Fire and Police through such events like our annual “Climb with a Cop” benefiting the Special Olympics. We also raise money every October for Breast Cancer Awareness through our “Pink Route” fundraiser while also sponsoring local sports teams, school fundraisers, and more.
About Chris DiMatteo
Quirky Stat: I can type over 80 words a minute.
Best moment at Gravity Vault: Everyday I get to see new people introduced to the sport that I love. It changes people's lives for the better so often, and I love to see it happen!
Favorite activity in New Jersey: Trying out different Diners.
Do you want to climb your way to better fitness? If you've tried it, what's your favorite thing about rock climbing?