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ASCEND + Transcend = ASCEND Youngstown

Effective Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Transcend Bouldering Lounge is ASCEND Youngstown! All ASCEND Youngstown customers will have to complete a new waiver. Save time during your next visit and complete it now HERE.

Transcend Bouldering Lounge (TBL) opened its doors in March of 2019 and has been growing an engaged climbing community ever since. During the relatively short time that TBL has been operating, owner, Paul Democko, has been eager to provide more for the Youngstown climbing community. Over the summer, TBL approached ASCEND to explore a meaningful acquisition, with the central goal of providing resources to offer additional programming, facility additions, amenities, events, and other services.

To learn more about ASCEND, please go HERE.


In early 2018, a close group of climbing friends realized that their hometown of Youngstown, Ohio needed a climbing gym, so, in November of 2018, they began construction to make that happen. On March 22, 2019, Transcend Bouldering Lounge opened its doors to the public and Youngstown has been climbing ever since!

In the past 7 months, everything was going well, but TBL had a small dilemma. Running a gym and balancing their private lives proved to be a challenge. As a result, TBL began to seek creative opportunities to grow the community and offer more to its members. Knowing of ASCEND in Pittsburgh and its positive reputation as a climbing gym operator and since ASCEND was already looking to expand, TBL believed that they would be the perfect operators. After months of talking and having meetings, everything started to become a reality.

Therefore, starting in November of 2019, TBL will be apart of the ASCEND Family. Even though Paul Democko will no longer be the owner, he will remain as an ASCEND Youngstown manager. This is also true of the majority of the current staff members. Being a part of the ASCEND community means that there will be better problems to climb and more resources for our members. We hope that all of you are excited as we are to Ascend into the future!

Since opening our doors in Pittsburgh’s South Side in March of 2017, we have set our sights on serving the growing climbing community. While the greater Pittsburgh area has been ASCEND’s primary focus, the encompassing rust belt region is a part of our cultural fabric. Youngstown, Ohio is not only an hour’s drive away from the center of Pittsburgh, but many of our active climbers live central to both cities! Expanding ASCEND’s footprint is very important to us, but doing so with intent and care is our top priority.

Our mission reads: ASCEND fosters a holistic, community-based, climbing and fitness experience. With this in mind, it was of paramount importance for us to understand how this transition will impact customers and employees, how we maintain the level of service established in Pittsburgh, and how we thoughtfully engage all of the stakeholders to make this feel right. Needless to say, we’ve got you all on our minds, and we are dedicated to assembling this puzzle so that all the pieces fit properly and result in an image worth a thousand words.

Find Your Summit in the City - our company tagline - has always embodied how we approach our business and our passion. Take from it what you wish, but to us it means that no matter what situation you find yourself in, seek a holistic path toward personal success. We hope this speaks to our new community in Youngstown as it has in Pittsburgh.

So please, we ask you to raise your chalk bags and celebrate all of the amazing people trAnSCENDing to find their summits in Youngstown. Truly, and from the bottom of our hearts, we welcome the Youngstown community into the ASCEND community with open crash pads!


We understand that you may have some questions about how this transition will affect you. Our goal is to keep things simple and to impact your current situation as little as possible. Here's what you need to know.

  • Rates: In order to seek consistency across all ASCEND facilities, some rates and offerings will change.
    • Current TBL EFT membership rates will be locked in for the time being, including couples and family rates. However, as we work to improve the facility and included benefits, customers will eventually experience consistent pricing across all ASCEND facilities. A minimum of 60 days will be provided to alert members of any membership pricing changes and will not be done without careful consideration.
    • ASCEND bills on the 1st of the month, not the 15th. Current TBL EFT members will be billed for a pro-rated half month on November 15 and then again for a full month on December 1.
    • Starting December 1, 2019, all new EFT memberships will be $64/mo. which is consistent with our pricing in Pittsburgh. This means that anyone starting an EFT membership now through November 30, 2019, will also be temporarily locked in to the $55/mo. pricing. Please note that the only EFT pricing available now through November 30 is $55/mo. at the individual level and no further discounts may be applied.
    • Our current pricing menu is temporary and does not display all of our offerings. A complete offering menu will be made available on December 1, 2019.
    • ASCEND Pittsburgh rates will be unaffected.
    • For all other pricing questions, please see the rates section below.
  • Global Access: Starting December 1, 2019, ASCEND members can visit any facility for no extra charge! Please note that your membership is held and managed at the local facility where you became a member. Additionally, Punch Pass holders will be able to use their punches at both locations.
  • Facilities Waivers: All ASCEND Youngstown customers must complete a new waiver, which can be done in store, or HERE.
  • Added Services: In short order, we aim to add to the retail shop and offer yoga, fitness, climbing, and youth classes. These services are at the core of this transition and will be phased in as quickly as possible, so you may start taking full advantage of your membership!
  • New Website: Look forward to a new and improved and fully integrated website, targeted for early 2020.
  • Patience and Understanding: We ask for your patience while the initial transition takes place. Changing our signage, merging our customer databases, phasing in added services, and merging systems may come with some kinks, so if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

ASCEND Youngstown is a community hub for new and experienced climbers alike. We provide a gathering place where your climbing friends become your family and your family feels like home. Our goal is to make you feel welcomed so you're able to challenge yourself physically and mentally. Our facility offers 3,000 square feet of bouldering, with a wall height of 16'. With over 80 problems on a regular rotation set by professional routesetters, you will always find something to challenge yourself on. We look forward to being a part of the growing climbing community in Northeast Ohio, Pittsburgh, and beyond. Come on down and check us out!