Walk inside a former grocery store in Salt Lake City, and you’ll find customers scaling the walls.
The site, which used to be a Smith’s supermarket, is now a climbing gym. There’s a towering wall that lets as many as 100 people ascend a simulated rockface for two or three hours at a time. Outside, the parking lot is regularly packed with cars.
Momentum Indoor Climbing has served as the anchor for the neighborhood’s strip mall since 2014, assuming a role that’s typically held by large retailers such as big-box stores. It’s part of a shift for shopping centers, many of which are scrambling to replace tenants. With several national chains filing for bankruptcy this year and even Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shuttering dozens of supercenters, there’s plenty of space to fill....
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