Policy & Law

CWA Public Policy Agenda

The CWA is the principal advocate for and defender of the indoor climbing industry in North America. Each year, we monitor and attend dozens of hearings in states and provinces across the continent. The CWA’s public policy agenda involves educating our members on policy matters that may have an impact on their programs and businesses; promoting positive regulatory and business conditions for the industry; and promoting sound public policy regarding health, physical education and recreation. The CWA is vigilant in monitoring developments that might have a negative effect on the industry and coordinate activity on the state and local levels to defend against policies, laws, or regulations that might be harmful to our members or the public.

Legislative and Regulatory Priorities

Facility Licensure

Legislatures have proposed laws that would allow state or provincial governments to establish licensing requirements, enact regulations, and administer climbing gym inspections. Frequently this is accomplished by applying amusement licensing laws to sports and recreation facilities, which we oppose.

Liability Protection

Several state legislatures have proposed bills that would severely restrict the use of visitor or participation agreements, specifically weakening liability protections for the business owner, we maintain that these liability protections are necessary for the long-term health and viability of a sport like climbing.

Employment Law

Finding and retaining good employees is essential to the success of a climbing gym. Employment laws and regulations are constantly changing, and gym operators need to be aware of their increasing legal responsibilities. Courts are not sympathetic to employers who claim ignorance of the law, whether the case involves employee classification, overtime pay, discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge, or workplace safety.

Membership Contract Restrictions

We oppose unnecessary membership contract restrictions including capping the amount you can charge for a contract, capping the length of your contracts, regulating the use of electronic fund transfers (EFTs), and regulating automatic renewal clauses in membership contracts. These restrictions negatively effect retention, and force climbing gyms to devote more time/resources/staff to administrative tasks and renewal efforts which is costly.

Sales and Use Taxes

The imposition of unfair taxes raise costs for climbing gym members and create a disincentive to membership and diminish climbing gym revenue.

Federal Law

CWA supports federal initiatives that promote physical fitness, physical activity, and wellness as an essential component of an effective health care system. Initiatives that eliminate or lessen financial barriers to participation, on the part of the business owner and the public, are sound policy goals for a nation experiencing increasing health care costs and an obesity epidemic.

Get Involved

We encourage you to get to know the legislators that represent you at every level of government—and engage them constructively. Let them know what issues are important to you and affect you. Exercise the rights that you have to speak freely and participate in government. When you engage you can make a difference!