Dan Hague

The Video Transcript

My name is Dan Hague. I own several businesses, one of which is Rise Up Climbing in downtown Lynchburg. This is a indoor rock climbing facility. I’ve been in that business since 1993, and opened three gyms around D.C. I got to Lynchburg there was no climbing here. And that just wasn’t going to do, since I’ve been a climber for many many years. I guess desperation is the mother of invention. The other business is that I operate is Rise Up Properties. This is a property development, really a historic property redevelopment for downtown commercial buildings. In 2007- 2008 during the financial crisis I decided to pull my money out of Wall Street, because they were doing everything they could to steal it. And to put it into something that I knew a little bit about, which is real estate. We bought a building on main street and then a few years later another business on main street. And we have a couple of other buildings we are trying to decide what to do with right now. Challenges I had in starting these business. With the climbing business there were no building in Lynchburg that would accommodate a forty foot climbing wall. So I had to take a building and modify it, and that involved going through zoning and planning and a number of governmental agencies to get that kind of thing approved. With the properties business those involve fairly complicated set of rules surrounding tax credits. And the first time through that process was challenging to say the least. Success in the climbing business means sustained membership and some longevity. And for the climbing gym here in town we’ve been in business for eight years now. And the membership fully sustains the business. In the properties business positive cash flow is the goal, and that’s achieved through occupancy. Fortunately for us both of our loft buildings are fully occupied, and both have positive cash flows at this time. The hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is having to be versed in all aspects of business. When you have a job you can specialize in just one aspect of a particular business. But as an entrepreneur you need to be at least aware of all the moving parts, even if you’re not an expert in all. And that’s quite a challenge. The worst preconceived notion of being an entrepreneur is ‘It will be so great to be my own boss. Our business supports the community in couple ways: First, our climbing business provides a recreational outlet that is not available anywhere else. And the properties business takes underutilized buildings and turns them into something productive. Lynchburg is the city of opportunities for a couple of reasons. First, is there is a really nice working relationship between business owners and the city. Second, property is inexpensive in the downtown, and it’s about to experience rapid growth and redevelopment. A piece of advice for opening a business in Lynchburg, watch your cost and don’t over build. People in Lynchburg tend to watch their pocketbooks closely, so you have to be careful about how much you build.

Video Information

Dan Hague RedStart Lofts

About Dan Hague

Dan Hague is one of the most accomplished climbing theorists and instructors on America. Dan Hague co-authored The Self Coached Climber, the recognized authoritative text on climbing movement and technique. Additionally, he owns several businesses in the Lynchburg Area and is very engaged with the local community.


Author Dan Hague
Date Added February 24, 2017
Length 3:39
Views 264


Welcome to the Launched In Lynchburg Series! Each month, we feature a different local entrepreneur. This month, we're featuring Dan Hague. 

ABOUT Rise Up Climbing

Rise Up Climbing is central Virginia’s premier indoor rock climbing gym. Founded by Dan and Leslie Hague, two of the most accomplished climbing theorists and instructors on America, Rise Up has more than 6000 square feet of climbable surface, with 20 lead and toprope climbing station and more than 1000 square feet of top-out bouldering. 

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About Grassroots Local Market

Grassroots Local Market is a cooperatively-owned grocery store in Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia. Grassroots is currently in the funding stage, having raised over $300,000 of the $400,000 needed to open the store. Our goal is to strengthen the downtown by forming a community owned and governed full service natural foods store. We want to solve several downtown and greater Lynchburg needs with one effort: create a full service grocery; provide a one-stop shop for natural, organic, and local foods; help relieve the downtown food desert; and improve the vitality of downtown.

We envision a natural foods grocery concentrating primarily on natural, organic, and local products which does not exist in Lynchburg. In addition the store will contain a full commercial kitchen offering a good selection of freshly prepared grab-n-go foods and a small cafe for light dining. 

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About Redpoint Lofts

Redpoint Lofts offers a limited set of newly renovated 3-bedroom, 2-bath lofts in downtown Lynchburg for the discerning resident. Each unit has been tastefully updated with modern amenities while maintaining its historic character and charm.  The lofts exceed expectations with conveniences like high-end lighting and fixtures, energy efficient central heating and air conditioning, tile baths, spacious living areas and large, modern kitchens. 

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About RedStar Flats

Unlock your door to Lynchburg's newest and most breathtaking flats and studios, where modern design and functionality meet striking early 1900s architecture and accents. Red Star Flats lies in the heart of downtown Lynchburg, mere blocks from scores of shops, restaurants such as The Depot Grille, Rise Up Indoor Climbing, YMCA of Central Virginia, the Lynchburg Community Market and Academy of Fine Arts—and we hope to soon welcome downtown Lynchburg's first grocery store to our ground floor. Bask in the wealth of natural light from enormous original windows. Take a short stroll to dinner and the theater. Revel in the perfect marriage of Lynchburg's rich history and its revived sense of now.

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