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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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The Keys to Cultural Leadership

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The Keys to Cultural Leadership

While there are many definitions of leadership, I recently came across one that I thought stood out from the rest. Leadership expert, Warren Bennis, explains, "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality." Accordingly, a company has a vision that it wants to execute; the leader is... Continue Reading

04/8/2019


Building Your Team's Performance and Cooperation With Some Simple Activities

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Building Your Team's Performance and Cooperation With Some Simple Activities

Posted By Bix Firer and Pat Brehm, Monday, April 8, 2019 Establishing buy-in and cooperation from the young climbers in a climbing program must go beyond simply establishing a set of rules and reactively enforcing them. Rather, it is important that the structure of the program is... Continue Reading

04/8/2019


Streamlining Development in Indoor Climbing Gyms

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Streamlining Development in Indoor Climbing Gyms

Developing is “growing or becoming more mature, advanced or elaborate,” according to Google dictionary. You, your company, and the climbing industry as a whole are all developing all the time, but are you getting the most out of your development process? This article will introduce a... Continue Reading

03/26/2019


One Small Step (or how a close call changed my routesetting life)

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One Small Step (or how a close call changed my routesetting life)

When I started climbing about 28 years ago, there were no climbing gyms around, so our dad built us our own little steep woody where my love for routesetting and climbing holds was born. Today I’m a routesetting nerd, a gear freak, and a hold-aficionado. I’m passionate about every... Continue Reading

03/24/2019


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