CWA Releases Climbing Facility Reopening Survey Results

Climbing facility reopening survey: chart of economic outlook
One of the charts from the CWA reopening survey, with about 21 percent of respondents answering that they do not feel they are in danger of eventually going out of business. All images courtesy of the Climbing Wall Association

The Climbing Wall Association (CWA) recently released the results of a June survey that tracked various aspects related to reopening. The survey came on the heels of industry-wide facility closures and subsequent reopenings around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. More than 80 percent of the responses to the CWA survey came from operators of climbing gyms, with other participants including operators of college rec facilities, community centers and health clubs. Most questions in the survey received answers from 105 participating facilities in total, nearly all of which operate in North America.

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In the results, about 39 percent of respondents to the question indicated that they felt the current COVID-19 policies and restrictions (such as limiting attendance/participation, etc.) put them in danger of eventually going out of business. However, less than five percent of participating facilities have actually had any positive COVID-19 cases reported by staff or customers.

In terms of occupancy restrictions, over 60 percent of participating facilities are requiring scheduled climbing blocks. An accompanying note in the survey results indicated that climbing gyms are operating at 35% of their full occupancy limit on average. More than half of the respondents are continuing to admit day pass users or have no restrictions on which customer types can access the facility.

Climbing facility reopening survey: chart of contact tracing process
69 percent of participating facilities are including a contact tracing process in their reopening plan, in addition to other safety measures.

Another noteworthy question of the survey was related to updated chalk policies. Approximately 34 percent of participating facilities responded that liquid chalk is recommended; about 21 percent of facilities are only allowing liquid chalk. The vast majority of respondents are also requiring staff and customers to wear masks, and 48 percent are applying health screenings and/or temperature checks on customers (79 percent for staff).

Other questions—and the full results of the CWA survey—can be viewed here. In May, the CWA released a comprehensive guide called the “Roadmap to Reopening” for climbing gyms following temporary pandemic-related closures.

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