ADVENTURE HQ: Space Coast Indoor Recreational Destination Is Family-Centered Hub
By Space Coast Daily // September 15, 2017
scaling great heights to get Brevard moving
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Frankie Pawley is scaling great heights to get Brevard moving. He really, really is.
Pawley and his family operate Adventure HQ, the Spaces Coast’s newest indoor family recreational destination, where climbing can easily become a way of life for young and old.
The 33,000-square-foot facility, located on the site of the former Giant Recreation World in Palm Shores, is a family-centered hub where adventure awaits in the shape of climbing walls.
“We offer a variety of different activities to create a destination for individuals and families,” said Pawley.
The Adventure HQ story began when Frankie’s parents, venture capitalist Frank and his wife, Tracy, moved to Merritt Island.
“We were living in Dubai at the time and would come over on vacation to visit them,” said Pawley, who worked as commercial diver in underwater construction in that country.
“I used to use climbing as a fitness regimen there.”
Dubai was only one of many job sites for Pawley, whose British accents hints to his roots south of London.
“My job took me all over the world,” he said.
Mix Pawley’s love of climbing together with the affection he developed for the Space Coast during periods of R&R, and the result is Adventure HQ, which opened in June of this year after Pawley and his wife decided to make Brevard their new home.
From the get-go, the Pawley family had definite ideas of what their new business enterprise should be.
“We didn’t want to buy into a franchise,” said Pawley. “We wanted it to feel like a really big small business.”
FAST GROWING SPORT
Adventure HQ taps into the popularity and health benefits of climbing and bouldering for all age brackets. The sport of bouldering will be making its debut in the Olympics during the 2020 games.
“Climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports, a full-body workout and an incredibly social way to exercise,” explained Pawley. “Climbers are such a friendly group of people.”
ALL AGES, ALL ABILITY LEVELS
Given Florida’s less-than-hilly terrain, picking up the sport could be challenging, but fortunately for Space Coast seasoned and wanna-be climbers alike, Adventure HQ could well offer some of the highest “peaks” in the state, packaged for the enjoyment of all age and ability levels.
For the youngest climbers, Adventure Zone nicely does the trick, with its Crazy Climb and Ninja Warrior courses, two activities that have already become popular party arenas with the younger set, and with adults as well.
In the unique Crazy Climb, kids as young as three years of age and adults as old as they wish to be experience a range of interactive wacky-themed climbing walls that include a giant bean stalk, a skyscraper walk and speed climbing walls.
No roped climbing experience is necessary and everyone is safely harnessed to prevent accidents.
“It’s a great way to introduce a child or adult to climbing,” said Pawley.
All climbers go through a safety orientation before they embark on approximately 60 minutes of climb time. With only 30 climbers limited per session, everyone enjoys quality time on the walls.
“Parents initially tell us they’re not going to take part, but within 10 minutes they join in with their kids,” said Pawley. “We’ve had grandparents climbing with their grandchildren.”
The Ninja Warrior Course, aimed at climbers seven years and older, is a test of speed, agility and strength in a safe, fun environment. Participants race against the clock in three lanes of obstacles varying in difficulty.
Adventure Zone is only part of the picture.
Youngsters in the nine to 12-year-old bracket can learn the fundamentals of indoor rock climbing at Adventure HQ’s Climbing Academy, where instructors help them build strength, confidence and problem-solving skills.
For adults who want to take rock climbing to the next level, there is the bouldering and training studio and the bouldering basics course. Bouldering, a form of rock climbing, builds stamina, balance, strength and mental skills a safe distance from the ground.
“With bouldering, you don’t need harnesses, because you’re not that high off the ground,” said Pawley.
Leaving behind ropes and harnesses, the climbers navigate short but challenging climbing route. Should you fall, you will be landing on a padded foam mat.
GREAT FOR SPECIAL EVENTS
The sport includes significant emotional therapy, for participants get so absorbed in the climb that they leave stress and worries behind.
Boredom is never an issue at Adventure HQ, because a portion of the color-coordinated routes, or problems as they’re called in the sport, are changed every two weeks to keep the courses fresh.
“The whole gym changes every eight weeks,” explained Pawley.
The facility is tailor-made for special events such as birthday parties and team building retreats. The Crazy Climb and Ninja Warrior Course are particularly well suited for team building activities.
But, wait, there’s more! Adventure HQ has also partnered with 321 Escape Rooms to offer three differently themed escape rooms, with western and space themes and a “hijacked at sea” scenario, for additional special events options.
The rooms are also available to individuals, couples and families during regular operating hours.
One of the best people-watching locations around town may well be Adventure HQ’s Base Camp Café, which offers hot and cold drinks, lunchtime specials and snacks.
Licensed to sell beer and wine, Base Camp Café hosts Ladies Night on Thursdays, which is is a great spot for a glass of wine after climbing.
“We often refer to this as a “climb and un-wine-d night,” said Lois.
Safety is paramount in all the activities at Adventure HQ, with plenty of staff to “manage” the fun. Harnesses are tested to 300 pounds. Participants are required to use climbing shoes, be it their own or rentals available on site.
An array of admission options allows for a custom experience. A day pass permits users to try out the bouldering area as long as they wish for an entire day. The “Adventure Zone” runs on hourly and two-hour sessions.
A Punch Pass offer seven day passes for the price of five. For the “frequent climbers,” membership provides the best deal, with unlimited climbing, one free guest pass a month, free community events, access to Ninja Warrior Course and to the Crazy Climb on selected times and other perks.
Although Adventure HQ has been in business just a few weeks, the facility has already gained a reputation as a go-to place for fun.
“We have something for everyone,” said Pawley.
ADVENTURE HQ is located at 5270 N. U.S. Hwy. 1 in Palm Shores. For more information, call 321-775-9825 or visit AdventureHQfl.com
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS