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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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Burnout Culture: Defining the Problem and Potential Solutions for Climbing Gyms

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Burnout Culture: Defining the Problem and Potential Solutions for Climbing Gyms

Burnout as defined by The World Health Organization (WHO) is a syndrome that occurs as the result of chronic workplace stress. Burnout isn’t a temporary experience – in fact, it has become a societal epidemic that can have negative impacts on your business. With 1 in 5 employees... Continue Reading

12/10/2019


Creating a Positive Workplace Culture for Safety in the Climbing Gym

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Creating a Positive Workplace Culture for Safety in the Climbing Gym

In this article we will take a look at how we can take a positive approach to creating a culture for safety in the climbing gym environment. At the end of the article, be sure to download our one-page quick reference guide to developing a safety program. The term “Safety Culture” was... Continue Reading

12/3/2019


Gender, Variety, and Growth in Routesetting

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Gender, Variety, and Growth in Routesetting

As I’ve interviewed routesetters about their industry, topics that have come up over and over are diversity, variety, and professionalism. A major piece of the puzzle is a setting crew that can set for diverse climbers—and that means a diverse crew. Many gyms lack setters outside the... Continue Reading

12/2/2019


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


Marketing Tips to Capture and Keep New Year’s Resolution-ers

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Marketing Tips to Capture and Keep New Year’s Resolution-ers

It’s almost that time of year again! The holidays are coming up, and as soon as January hits, there will be a renewed market of New Year’s Resolution-ers who are looking for ways to reach their fitness goals. Make sure your gym is well-positioned to seize this opportunity. The... 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