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SIU alum opens premier rock climbing facility

November 10, 2011, Nicole Trainor

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Brothers Daniel and David Chancellor combined their passion for rock climbing to create a ground-breaking new business, So iLL Holds, Inc. Their dream was born in their parents’ basement, but has now taken shape in the form of a booming business, selling their unique products, colorful hand holds that attach to rock climbing walls. These “holds” are now present in almost every climbing gym around the world. They are even found at the SIU Rec Center. So. iLL Holds, Inc. has over 3,000 commercial accounts and 15 international distributors.

With a solid foundation established for So iLL Holds, the Chancellor brothers wanted to pursue another dream of theirs; opening an indoor climbing facility in the in the heart of St. Louis called “Climb So iLL”.


“We want to be able to promote community and fitness through a unique indoor climbing experience, by offering an alternative way to get fit and stay healthy,” stated the Chancellor brothers.


After winning $30,000 for placing second in the 2011 St. Louis County Economic Councils Business Plan Contest, David, Daniel, and their new partner Ian Anderson were able to make their dreams a reality. They begin by designing their gym, Climb So iLL, with the help of Engaged Central Design Office Architects, Chris Goodson, of Gilded Age and Stacy Hastie of Environmental Operations.


The Chancellors’ hope Climb So iLL will be the Midwest’s premier indoor climbing facility and one of St. Louis’ hottest destinations. It is located in Lafayette Square in the City Hospital Power Plant, an incredible historic building that is 12,000 square feet and 55 feet tall, perfect for indoor climbing. The gym will have several climbing areas designed for every skill level; it will also be home to one of the largest climbing walls in the country. Along with Climb So iLL, the power plant will also be the home of two restaurants including rooftop dining. Those dining at the restaurants will be able to view the rock climbers at the gym as well as the beautiful St. Louis skyline.


SIU alumnus, Daniel Chancellor (Management, 2005) talked about the start of their successful company, So iLL Holds, saying, “After selling my Volkswagen to make an initial set of molds, my brother Dave and I began to shape our vision, and form something much bigger than ourselves. We slowly took nothing and turned it into something… climbing from the ground up…one hold at a time.”


Climb So iLL is set to open to the public in the summer of 2012. For more information about So iLL Holds or Climb So iLL find them on Facebook or check out their website www.soillholds.com