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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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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

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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?

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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

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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


It’s Not a Cakewalk: How to Develop a Birthday Party Program

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It’s Not a Cakewalk: How to Develop a Birthday Party Program

With fees ranging from $100 to over $300 for a two-hour party, birthday party programs can be a serious and solid income stream for climbing gyms and also align with other business goals. Not only are you creating a community for your existing youth climbers to celebrate their milestones in your... Continue Reading

12/3/2018


Cultivating Space: 10 Steps to Create and Maintain Cultural Relevancy

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Cultivating Space: 10 Steps to Create and Maintain Cultural Relevancy

Hello CWA world! Before we go any further, I want make a confession...I do not at all consider myself a climber. I know, I know. You're probably wondering "well then why on Earth is she writing a blog post for the CLIMBING Wall Association?!" This is a fair question, so I'll tell y'all a little... Continue Reading

11/26/2018


Retention Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

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Retention Strategies to Reduce Employee Turnover

This month, the US Bureau for Labor and Statistics reported that 3.6 million employees voluntarily quit their jobs in September 2018. Every employee that voluntarily quits costs an employer, on average, 16% of their annual wage. And to make matters worse, high turnover rates come with high... Continue Reading

11/19/2018


Making Training Fun: Incorporating games to meet youth training goals

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Making Training Fun: Incorporating games to meet youth training goals

Meeting the learning objectives of beginner climbers in youth climbing programs can be a challenge. Varying ability levels and learning styles of youth climbers can make it difficult to structure programming in a way that keeps everyone engaged and allows them push their own abilities. To make... Continue Reading

11/19/2018


The Dirtbag Dilemma: Evaluating Van Life on Gym Property

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The Dirtbag Dilemma: Evaluating Van Life on Gym Property

Counterculture has long been in the fibers of climbing, so is it any wonder that as the sport becomes more mainstream, the two have started to butt heads? As the climbing population explodes, indoor climbing gyms have become havens for urban van-dwellers, which begs the question – how... Continue Reading

11/6/2018


Making Lemons Into Lemonade: A Step-by-Step Guide to Handling Mistakes in Your Organization

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Making Lemons Into Lemonade: A Step-by-Step Guide to Handling Mistakes in Your Organization

Mistakes will happen. Nobody is perfect. No matter how hard we try, and how well our companies operate, there will be a time when something goes wrong and we need to take steps to turn lemons into lemonade. And we’re not alone; even the best brands and the most efficient companies... Continue Reading

11/5/2018


What Makes a Great Manager?

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What Makes a Great Manager?

An excellent manager makes any job seem worth doing. This rings true across all industries, from retail to finance to your local climbing gym. The opposite is true, too: poor management can wreck morale and drive great employees away. Running a climbing gym means managing in tons of different... Continue Reading

10/18/2018


Beyond Fall Protection: Risk Management for Climbing Wall Workers in the Gym Environment

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Beyond Fall Protection: Risk Management for Climbing Wall Workers in the Gym Environment

Safety in the workplace is important in all working environments, including climbing gyms. The General Duty Clause of the 1970 OSHA Act mandates that employers have a legal responsibility to present a safe working environment [1]. Climbing gyms often focus their risk management policies on fall... Continue Reading

by Aaron Gibson
10/18/2018