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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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5 Ideas for Making Your Gym More Eco-Friendly

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5 Ideas for Making Your Gym More Eco-Friendly

Foundations are being laid for new gyms across the country and more folks are roping up to maneuver monocolor routes than ever before. Private capital, blockbuster movies, and the inclusion of rock climbing in the 2020 Olympics are creating a boom in the industry. At the same time, the United... Continue Reading

11/15/2019


How to Advocate and Bring Mental Health Awareness to Your Gym

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How to Advocate and Bring Mental Health Awareness to Your Gym

Physical activity has been linked to mental health benefits for decades. In a 1985 study published in Public Health Reports, three researchers found that physical activity not only helps alleviate moderate to severe depression but can also help with self-esteem issues, social skills, and stress... Continue Reading

11/1/2019


5 Retail Items Your Gym Should Be Selling

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5 Retail Items Your Gym Should Be Selling

Sell what people will use in your facility. That’s the #1 piece of advice Todd McCormick, Director of Retail Operations at ASCEND, offers for maintaining a successful retail shop in your gym. The Pittsburgh gym has a relatively small retail space – 600 square feet of the... Continue Reading

10/30/2019


Sequencing Activities for Youth Climbing Programs

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Sequencing Activities for Youth Climbing Programs

As coaches and climbing instructors, breaking down our goals for participants - either technical, social, or recreational - into achievable steps can be a daunting task. The key to helping participants reach their goals and giving a familiar learning structure to our programs is sequencing... Continue Reading

10/23/2019


The Routesetter as Professional: In Conversation with Ward Byrum

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The Routesetter as Professional: In Conversation with Ward Byrum

As the sport of climbing grows, its infrastructure must grow along with it. Climbing gyms continue to multiply, and the demand for high-quality routesetting has increased in tandem. As a result, routesetting is changing as a profession. To get a handle on what that means for the job and the... Continue Reading

10/22/2019


Climbing Gym Programming 101

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Climbing Gym Programming 101

Are you a gym with programs that haven’t changed in a while, OR a gym that has programs and is always creating the next best thing, OR are you looking to start a gym and are trying to decide what programming to include? Whatever the answer, this article will help you think through your... Continue Reading

10/7/2019


Recap: CWA Meetings Hoboken

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Recap: CWA Meetings Hoboken

Last week, the CWA continued its regional events tour with the latest stop at the Gravity Vault Hoboken. The conference was hosted out of the 25,000 sq. ft. facility and welcomed climbing industry professionals from fourteen different gyms between Quebec and Tennessee. The management/operations... Continue Reading

09/20/2019


The Making of the 2018 Indoor Climbing Industry Report

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The Making of the 2018 Indoor Climbing Industry Report

Do you know how many check-ins the average climbing facility has each year? Or which programs the most successful climbing gyms offer? Until 2018, we didn’t know, either. “One of the traditional roles of a trade association is to help members understand benchmarks,” explains CWA... Continue Reading

09/19/2019


Top 5 Takeaways from Fitness Business Podcast About Investment

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Top 5 Takeaways from Fitness Business Podcast About Investment

A recent recommendation from Chris Stevenson led me to start listening to the Fitness Business Podcast. In addition to being a regular speaker at the CWA Summit and CWA Meetings, Chris is one of my favorite fitness industry experts, and his recommendation did not let me down. Hosted by Chantal... Continue Reading

09/13/2019


CWA Meetings: Calgary Recap

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CWA Meetings: Calgary Recap

Photo by Matthew Huitma, commissioned by Calgary Climbing Centre Last week, the Climbing Wall Association team launched the first-ever CWA Meetings event in partnership with Calgary Climbing Centre! Over the summer, we have heard from many of you who have questions about this brand-new program:... Continue Reading

08/29/2019


Oh Canada: My Experience at the First CWA Meeting in Calgary

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Oh Canada: My Experience at the First CWA Meeting in Calgary

Photo by Matthew Huitma, commissioned by Calgary Climbing Centre I have always believed that the most successful people in any industry are the ones that focus on consistent professional development. In fact, “grow through constant learning” is one of my company’s core values. I... Continue Reading

08/29/2019


Diversity = Variety: What Does It Mean for Commercial Routesetting?

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Diversity = Variety: What Does It Mean for Commercial Routesetting?

Routesetting is a central part of the experience for every climbing gym’s end users: its members. Routes that are challenging but varied are one reason why climbers keep coming back. In order to provide the best experience for your customer base, it’s crucial to keep diversity in mind... Continue Reading

08/28/2019