U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says the six-story, 12,000-square-foot climbing wall in downtown Chattanooga doesn't really compare to the mountain he'll have to climb in Washington over the next few months. But he's confident Republicans and Democrats will find common ground.
"As long as we will focus on our country's fiscal issues in the next few months, I think we will get some good work done," Corker said.
Corker toured the High Point Climbing & Fitness gym on the 200 block of Broad Street on Wednesday and kept most of his comments about the facility itself.
He said the $2.5 million project is an excellent example of what attracts people to the Scenic City.
"The outdoor initiative that was launched years ago is still one of the most important assets of the community," Corker said. "We have more amenities than anywhere else in the nation."
He praised the city and its community for making efforts to retain young people and keep Chattanooga attractive.
But Corker's evaluation of his fellow GOP lawmakers in the nation's capitol was less enthusiastic.
Calling recent actions by some House Republicans to defeat the Affordable Care Act by pushing the government to partially close "extortionist measures," Corker said he hopes there will be less divisiveness within the party next year, when Congress again will have to vote to keep the government running and extend the nation's debt limit.
"I think if the Republicans in both the House of Representatives and the Senate can just get to focusing on the country's fiscal issues, we'll see some unity," Corker said.
Meanwhile, Johnny O'Brien, co-owner of High Point, said the climbing gym is set to open its doors in late November and be in full-blown operation by the following month.
The gym will include traditional exercise amenities along with the 22,000 square feet of indoor climbing areas.