CWA Blog

Resources for Indoor Climbing Professionals

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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Member Spotlight: The Gravity Vault

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Member Spotlight: The Gravity Vault

Gravity Vault Founder Lucas Kovalcik was partway through grad school when he decided that New Jersey could use a climbing gym. Together with Tim Walsh, he opened the first Gravity Vault in 2005. After four years, the pair launched a second location, and in 2013 the first franchisee-owned location... Continue Reading

03/13/2019


Let's Get Engaged!

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Let's Get Engaged!

Employee engagement is a hot topic, and rightfully so. Companies that have a high level of success also have a high level of engaged employees. And no, I don’t mean vows and bridal bouquets. I mean “engaged” in the company’s mission statement and core values. Most... Continue Reading

03/11/2019


Seven of the Best Citizen Climbing Comps in the US

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Seven of the Best Citizen Climbing Comps in the US

Every year, more members are looking to test their skills as gym climbing grows in popularity. And for those with a competitive streak, there’s no better (or more fun) way to gauge progression than a competition at their local gym. Rallies and meetups at iconic climbing areas are all the... Continue Reading

02/19/2019


The Three Most Important Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment for Climbing Wall Workers

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The Three Most Important Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment for Climbing Wall Workers

Climbing wall workers are confronted with a number of potential hazards to be protected against. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is the term given to wearable devices and clothing used in the workplace to protect workers from various hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration... Continue Reading

02/13/2019


Member Spotlight: Triangle Rock Club

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Member Spotlight: Triangle Rock Club

Climbing gym operators often bring a diverse set of experiences to running a gym, but few more so than Joel Graybeal, Managing Partner at Triangle Rock Club. After working as an aerospace engineer at the Pentagon, he worked as a banker for 14 years before joining the ownership team at TRC in... Continue Reading

02/4/2019


Meeting Social & Emotional Learning Goals Using Climbing

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Meeting Social & Emotional Learning Goals Using Climbing

Social and emotional learning (SEL) has become a hot topic among youth workers of all stripes. The core competencies of SEL, as identified by CASEL, have positive implications on young people’s lives: “improved classroom behavior, an increased ability to manage stress and depression,... Continue Reading

01/28/2019


Balancing the Business, Creativity, and Labor of Routesetting

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Balancing the Business, Creativity, and Labor of Routesetting

As businesses, climbing gyms use business strategies, protocols, and methods to establish and operate the gym, but that approach doesn’t entirely work for routesetting. Unlike fitness gyms that use standardized equipment, climbing gyms are engaged in selling the climbing experience to... Continue Reading

01/21/2019


The Two Keys to a Great Customer Experience

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The Two Keys to a Great Customer Experience

A few months ago, I was in Lisbon, Portugal, presenting to more than 1,000 club owners on membership sales. The presentation was about experiential sales and the concept of serving instead of selling. (This great concept will be a future blog topic.) The event was held at the Epic Sana Hotel... Continue Reading

01/14/2019


Team Dynamics: Managing Different Ages/Abilities on a Small Team

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Team Dynamics: Managing Different Ages/Abilities on a Small Team

Youth comp teams have experienced massive growth in the last 10 years, and with the release of Free Solo and The Dawn Wall in theaters nationwide, as well as climbing’s debut in the 2020 Olympics, that growth is not going to slow down. USA Climbing reported a consistent 17% annual growth in... Continue Reading

01/6/2019


Where to Begin with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

CWA Blog

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Where to Begin with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

There’s a lot of talk in the climbing industry lately about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): What will it take to get more people tied in? How can we make climbing more accessible to a larger, more diverse audience? If you know where to begin, incorporating DEI initiatives into your... Continue Reading

01/4/2019


If Customer Experience Is Important, Why Aren’t We Good at It?

CWA Blog

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If Customer Experience Is Important, Why Aren’t We Good at It?

The Customer Engagement Academy (CEA) recently released its Member Engagement in the Global Health and Fitness Industry Survey Report for 2018. It was full of great research and data, but there was one thing that stuck out to me. Based on the survey results, while a majority of clubs felt that... Continue Reading

12/18/2018


5 Programs Your Members Wish You'd Offer

CWA Blog

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5 Programs Your Members Wish You'd Offer

Member engagement is critical in retaining customers, so it makes sense that climbing gyms offer a huge variety of programming to keep their members happy. Some of these programs are climbing-related, while others are focused on cross-training or building community. These five program types have... Continue Reading

12/10/2018