CWA July Survey Results Reveal New Insights Around Reopening

In May, 75 percent of climbing facilities responding to the CWA survey that month answered that they were closed. Now that number has reversed, with 72% of facilities responding to the July survey now open. All images courtesy of the Climbing Wall Association
CWA July survey results
In the May survey from the CWA, 75 percent of respondents to the question answered that their facility was closed. Now that number has practically reversed, with 72 percent of respondents to the question in the July survey answering that some or all of their facilities have reopened. Image courtesy of the Climbing Wall Association

The Climbing Wall Association (CWA) recently released results of a July survey related to how climbing facilities are performing after reopening. As reported by CBJ over the past few months, most gyms were forced to temporarily close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in the spring and early summer. However, many gyms have begun operations once again—and allowed customers to return—with a host of various mitigation protocols and extra safety measures intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Of note in the July survey results is that 72 percent of the respondents to the question answered that some or all of their facilities have indeed reopened. In addition, 67 percent of those responding to a question about financial relief said they have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the federal government’s Small Business Administration. The loan program was designed precisely to financially aid businesses hit hard by the pandemic, providing funds that could go towards continuing payroll, paying monthly rent and utility bills, and other necessities.



Furthermore, the July survey by the CWA notes, “On average, gyms have retained 59 percent of their membership since prior to the first wave of closures.” Additionally, the gyms surveyed are “currently employing 67 percent of normal full-time staff and 42 percent of normal part-time staff.” Such data could be coupled with other results, such as 47 percent of responding facilities revealing that they were operating with reduced hours for those full-time staff members.

The full results of the July survey can be viewed here. The survey follows June and May surveys from the CWA which also gauged various aspects related to reopening. In June, approximately 21 percent of responding gyms answered that they were firmly not in danger of going out of business. For comparison, the July survey dashboard states, “…24 percent did not feel that their current restrictions were putting them in danger of going out of business,” indicating a slight increase.

The July survey results were included in an email newsletter from CWA that also contained an article on what gyms should do if someone in their facility tests positive for COVID-19. Since the outbreak, 18 percent of gyms responding to the question in the July survey have had positive cases of COVID-19 reported to their gym by staff or customers.