The Threat of Mass Closures Leads Climbing Gyms to Unite With Global Public Awareness Campaign
Boulder, CO – March 23, 2021: Today, Inside Voices is launching a movement to save the indoor climbing industry, spearheaded by the Climbing Wall Association (CWA). The campaign is poised to address the uncertain future climbing gyms are facing in the wake of the global pandemic.
According to the CWA’s December 2020 reopening survey, one in four climbing gyms may close permanently within the next year without additional financial support. The data suggests the culprit to be a drop in attendance. Businesses in the indoor climbing industry are facing a historic moment of truth that is ushering them to unite or risk everything.
“Gyms are the source of climbing. This is where folks are introduced to the sport and where they spend most of their time climbing in this era,” explains Rick Vance, VP of Quality at Black Diamond Equipment Ltd. and Chairperson of the CWA Board of Directors. “On both the industry and local community levels, we need to think about ways to support our gyms, patronize our gyms, and continue to elevate the gyms as the cradle of the next generation of climbers.”
Inside Voices utilizes climbing’s growing popularity as a mainstream sport as seen with its debut at the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo, rescheduled for this summer. But what could be the strongest asset aiding climbing gyms is the strength of their communities and their proven track record for navigating risk. The CWA reports that in 2020 there were zero confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks among the estimated 10 million visits to climbing gyms in North America.
“The climbing community can help [climbing gyms recover from the pandemic] by rejoining gyms, bringing friends in, and continuing to follow COVID safety protocols,” says Renee DeAngelis, COO of the El Cap climbing gym group. “They can also help by supporting the folks who are working the front lines in those gyms. Those teams deserve a virtual high-five.”
Inside Voices launches on March 23, 2021. For more information visit www.insidevoices.cwapro.org.
About the Climbing Wall Association
The Climbing Wall Association is a trade association dedicated to protecting, connecting, and educating the indoor climbing industry. We provide relevant and actionable climbing business resources that keep the industry healthy and thriving. We do this through advocacy; developing industry standards; publishing industry news, data, and analysis; sponsoring certification and professional development programs; and producing community-building and educational events. Learn more and become a member at www.cwapro.org.
Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!