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A Climbing Business Blog

The Climbing Wall Association's blog is a place for indoor climbing professionals to find useful and relevant information from industry and business experts. Stay on top of best practices, thought leadership, and trends by subscribing to our newsletter!

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What Does the CDC's New Guidance Mean for Climbing Gyms?

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What Does the CDC's New Guidance Mean for Climbing Gyms?

On Thursday, May 13 the CDC updated their guidelines for fully vaccinated people. There’s been a scramble across every industry in the US to understand how these new rules affect them. But what does this mean for climbing gyms in the US? The most recent announcement from the CDC applies... Continue Reading

by Garnet Moore
05/18/2021


Shining Light on Eating Disorders in Climbing

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Shining Light on Eating Disorders in Climbing

Image provided by Caroline Treadway “But don’t you feel lighter?” I overheard this at my local climbing gym the night after interviewing Caroline Treadway, the documentarian who recently released her breakout film, LIGHT, about eating disorders in climbing. I’ve been... Continue Reading

by Jake Byk
05/17/2021


Engaging Staff on Retail Engages Customers, Too

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Engaging Staff on Retail Engages Customers, Too

Photo Courtesy of Keystone Climbing Consultants A retail shop contains several hidden benefits for your customers, employees, and your gym as a whole. Sure, the shop’s main objective is to make sales to turn a profit, ultimately adding to the overall value of your business. But a retail shop... Continue Reading

05/13/2021


Specific Activities for Specific Outcomes

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Specific Activities for Specific Outcomes

When planning a climbing season, climbing camp session, or any type of climbing program, the first thing to consider is desired outcomes. In other words, what are the goals you as the coach would like to see your participants reach? By identifying outcomes at the beginning stages of planning, a... Continue Reading

05/3/2021


Women and Competitive Climbing: Creating Environments That Foster Growth

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Women and Competitive Climbing: Creating Environments That Foster Growth

Photo by Kyle Somers/The Crag The first time I participated in a climbing competition was an absolute disaster. It was a citizen's comp at my local gym. I was 20, fairly new to climbing, and I showed up alone. I competed for less than an hour and was so disheartened that I threw my scorecard in... Continue Reading

04/29/2021


The 13th Month: Retail in Climbing Gyms

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The 13th Month: Retail in Climbing Gyms

Have you ever gone to a movie theater that doesn’t serve popcorn? I haven’t. The movie ticket is only $14, but then the popcorn is $6, and I’m going to need a Coke to wash that down, so that’s another $3. It’s a classic story of add-ons. Although I ended up... Continue Reading

04/19/2021


Member Spotlight: Oso Climbing Gyms

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Member Spotlight: Oso Climbing Gyms

2020 will forever be seared into our collective memory as the year COVID-19 ravaged the country and the world. Yet, when most businesses were bunkering down to ride out the storm, Oso Climbing Gyms took a gamble and opened its doors for the first time last May. Located in Dallas's Design... Continue Reading

by Alexandra Wojcicki
04/15/2021


CWA Announces New Executive Director

Association News

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CWA Announces New Executive Director

The Climbing Wall Association is thrilled to welcome our new Executive Director, Paula Horwitz, to our team. Paula joins the CWA team with an extensive background in executive leadership of non-profit and membership-driven organizations, particularly in niche, passion-driven industries. "I am... Continue Reading

04/12/2021


Projecting Anti-Racism: American Mountain Guides Association Affinity Programs

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Projecting Anti-Racism: American Mountain Guides Association Affinity Programs

Photo by Irene Yee This installation of Projecting Anti-Racism is a case study of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and its implementation of affinity programming. As more folks challenge the outdoor industry to be intentionally anti-oppressive, the work goes beyond inclusion to... Continue Reading

04/5/2021


Managing Youth Behavior Issues in the Gym, Part 2

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Managing Youth Behavior Issues in the Gym, Part 2

In part one of this series, we examined behavioral management and different types of disruptive behavior. We’re continuing to expand on this while providing tactics for effectively handling these issues and proactively using empathy as a coach. While addressing challenging behaviors, it is... Continue Reading

03/31/2021


Where is the stimulus for climbing gyms?

Association News

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Where is the stimulus for climbing gyms?

Congress added another $1.9 trillion to assist with recovery from the pandemic with the passing of the American Rescue Plan earlier this month. But many climbing gym owners are wondering where the support is for their businesses. It’s still possible that another stimulus bill could be... Continue Reading

by Garnet Moore
03/22/2021


You’ve Reopened. You’re Serious on Safety. Do Your Members Know It?

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You’ve Reopened. You’re Serious on Safety. Do Your Members Know It?

About a year ago, you were probably making some hard decisions. You were at least contemplating them, and the implications of what this new flu-like virus was going to do to your business, your family, and your community. Slowly, then painfully fast, the world changed, and we all came to realize... Continue Reading

by Jake Byk
03/22/2021