June 20 Webinar: Incident Response As Customer Service

Incident Response As Customer Service

How should you handle incidents?

Risk management isn’t usually viewed as an element of customer service, but the two topics are more intertwined than one might think. To show how they’re connected, this next webinar will combine standards and expectations from Granite Insurance, a respected broker, with practical actionable steps and best practices from seasoned operations consultancy Rise Above. What type of service should you deliver? This session will help answer that question and covers:
  • Why risk mitigation and response is actually customer service
  • How to assess risk, how to prepare for and respond to incidents
  • How to document and manage incidents
This session is intended for anyone who deals with incident response, including managers, instructors, and front desk team. Join us Thursday, June 20th at 11:00am MDT. Hosts Gavin Heverly of Rise Above Consulting with Ben Todd and PJ Hennessey of Granite Insurance will lead this webinar as part of the ongoing CBJ Climbing Gym Management Series. CBJ Members: RSVP Here for Free Access** Not a Member? Purchase Access Here for $59
Eldorado Climbing

All staff of CBJ members are invited!

**Live webinars are offered as a FREE member benefit to staff of CBJ member businesses at the Biz level and above (check if your employer is a member here). Each staff member must RSVP, although managers can RSVP for multiple staff. On-demand video recordings are available to staff at Plus or Premium member businesses and individual purchasers. Questions about accessing these recordings? Email us at info@climbingbusinessjournal.com. See All CBJ Webinar Recordings Here

Meet your presenters:

Rise Above Consulting, founded by Gavin Heverly, specializes in solving complex and high-value operational challenges for businesses. Rise Above partners with passionate business owners and entrepreneurs to overcome operational and cultural challenges so they can scale success and drive high-performing culture. Heverly has 25 years of experience opening, growing and running climbing gyms, with much of that career spent at the executive level. riseaboveconsultancy.com Rise Above Consulting
Granite Insurance has served businesses for nearly 100 years, with specialized offerings for climbing gyms and other adventure and recreation activities. After years of working with clients in these areas, both PJ Hennessey and Ben Todd have developed in-depth knowledge about the needs of climbing gyms and are constantly advising owners and managers about risk. graniteinsurance.com Granite Insurance

Climb Insider: gym news and topics for women

image of brooke raboutou at olympic qualifiers

Just a few thoughts

Last week was huge with the CWA Summit and Shanghai Olympic Qualifier. Great work to the CWA staff, volunteers, and presenters for another awesome trade show! And congrats to all the athletes who earned big points on their way to Paris! Bunch of interesting pieces below. A deep dive into gym unions. A tale of recovery after an accident. Topics for and about women, mothers, paraclimbers, and affinity groups. Lots of new gym openings, and one for sale. See The Freshest Job Posts Here

Community & Culture

Eldorado Climbing

Gym News

Shanghai Olympic Qualifier

Comp Scene

For Managers

OnSite

For Routesetters

Training Tips

Direct the Southeastern Climbers Coalition – Climbing Jobs Weekly 2024 May 23

scc header image CBJ hosts the most active job board for climbing businesses and organizations. Below are the latest posts from this past week…
Executive Director Southeastern Climbers Coalition Chattanooga, TN “The Executive Director (ED) is a full-time position that reports to the Board of Directors. As the chief executive officer of SCC, the Executive Director will provide professional oversight of the organization, as well as handle day-to-day administrative and programmatic tasks. The ED must be independently driven, highly motivated, an exceptional multi-tasker and able to balance many different projects, programs, and events at one time.  Overall, the ED must be a fervent supporter of the climbing community in the southeast, with a strong passion to see the SCC grow and succeed.”
Capitan software

JOB SEEKER TIPS:

Ask These Questions Before Accepting a Promotion By CareerBuilder “If you would end up with more responsibility but few, if any, direct reports, ask how you will spend your day. Inquire about the types of decisions you’ll be involved with, what meetings you’ll be asked to attend, and if you’ll have to determine the budget. Also, if your new position causes you to get email alerts at all hours of the day, will it provide you with enough of a work-life balance?” Read the full article here

LATEST JOB OPENINGS

See all current jobs // Post your job FT = full time PT = part time
RECENT/TOP JOB POSTS AT CBJ LOCATION TYPE
Gym Technician at Town Of Canmore Canmore, AB FT – coach, front desk, instructor
Routesetter at Bridges El Cerrito, CA PT – routesetter
Programs Director at Granite Arch Rancho Cordova, CA FT – manager
Routesetter at Movement San Francisco, CA FT – routesetter
Customer Experience Supervisor at Sender One Santa Ana, CA FT – coach, front desk, instructor
Manager at Pacific Edge Santa Cruz, CA FT – manager
Assistant Director at Alford Lake Camp Hope, ME Temp – instructor
Head Coach/Team Manager at Spire Bozeman, MT FT – coach, manager
Head Routesetter at Hudson Boulders Latham, NY FT – routesetter
Head Routesetter at MoCo Bouldering Conroe, TX FT – routesetter
Gym Manager at Vertical World Seattle, WA FT – manager
Executive Director at Southeastern Climbers Coalition Remote FT – other
Routesetter at Eldorado Climbing Remote PT – routesetter

Career Centers of Climbing Industry

NAMETYPELOCATION
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/access-fund.pngAccess Fundhttps://www.accessfund.org/inside-access-fund/careersorganizationUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/wi-adventure-rock.pngAdventure Rockhttps://adventurerock.com/jobs/facilityUSA - WI
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/alpine-climbing-adventure-fitness.pngAlpine Climbing Adventure Fitnesshttps://climbatalpine.com/about/careers/facilityUSA - CA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/american-alpine-club.pngAmerican Alpine Clubhttps://americanalpineclub.org/jobsorganizationUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ascend.pngASCEND Climbinghttps://www.ascendclimbing.com/ascend-jobsfacilityUSA - OH, PA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ascent-studio.pngAscent Studiohttps://ascentstudio.com/employment/facilityUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/bonfire-collective.pngBonfire Collectivehttps://thebonfirecollective.com/team/serviceUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/bouldering-project.pngBouldering Project (pick location)https://boulderingproject.com/facilityUSA - MN, TX, UT, WA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ab-calgary-climbing-centre.jpgCalgary Climbing Centrehttps://calgaryclimbing.com/employment/facilityCanada - AB
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/central-rock-gym.pngCentral Rock Gymhttps://centralrockgym.com/careers/facilityUSA - CT, FL, MA, NY, RI
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/delire-1.pngDelirehttps://www.delirescalade.com/en/carrieresproductCanada - QC
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/eldorado-wall-company.pngEldorado Climbinghttps://eldowalls.com/pages/careersproductUSA - CO - Louisville
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/entre-prises-1.pngEP Climbinghttps://epclimbing.com/na/en/ep-usa-careersproductUSA - OR - Bend
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Logo-Everlast-Climbing-square.jpgEverlast / Kumiki / Groperz / eXpressionhttps://everlastclimbing.com/pages/careersproductUSA - MN
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/fa-climbing.pngFA Climbinghttps://faclimbing.com/careers/facilityUSA - IL, PA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/on-guelph-grotto.pngGuelph Grottohttps://www.guelphgrotto.com/careersfacilityCanada - ON - Guelph
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/trublue.pngHead Rush Technologies // TRUBLUEhttps://trublueclimbing.com/about/careersproductUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/high-point-climbing.pngHigh Point Climbing & Fitnesshttps://www.highpointclimbing.com/employmentfacilityUSA - AL, TN
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/impact.pngIMPACThttps://impactclimbing.com/careers/productCanada - ON - Milton
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/junction-climbing-center.pngJunction Climbing Centrehttps://www.junctionclimbing.com/employment-opportunitiesfacilityCanada - ON - London
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/metolius.pngMetoliushttps://www.metoliusclimbing.com/job-openings.htmlproductUSA - OR - Bend
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/metro-rock.pngMetroRockhttps://metrorock.com/facilityUSA - MA, NY, VT
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/momentum-1.pngMomentumhttps://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/All/df699b76-9e67-4daa-9236-27d597e75dbf/Momentum-LLCfacilityUSA - TX, UT, WA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/movement-2.pngMovement Gymshttps://movementgyms.com/careers/facilityUSA - CA, CO, IL, MD, OR, TX, VA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Logo-OLC-jpg.jpgOLC Architecturehttps://www.olcdesigns.com/about-us/#teammemberserviceUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Logo-OnSite.pngOnSitehttps://www.theonsite.com/careersproductCanada - QC
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/organic.pngOrganic Climbinghttps://organicclimbing.com/pages/employment-opportunitiesproductUSA - PA - Philipsburg
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/peak-experiences.pngPeak Experienceshttps://www.peakexperiences.com/employmentfacilityUSA - VA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/salon-de-lescalade.pngSalon de l'Escaladehttps://www.salon-escalade.com/vertical-jobs/recruteurs/organizationFrance
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/va-sportrock.pngSportrockhttps://www.sportrock.com/join-our-teamfacilityUSA - MD, VA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/stone-age-climbing-gym.pngStone Agehttps://climbstoneage.com/employment-staff/facilityUSA - NM - Albuquerque
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ut-the-front.pngThe Fronthttps://thefrontclimbingclub.com/careers/facilityUSA - UT
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/the-gravity-vault.pngThe Gravity Vaulthttps://gravityvault.com/careersfacilityUSA - CA, NJ, NY, PA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/the-north-face.pngThe North Facehttps://www.thenorthface.com/en-us/about-us/careersProductUSA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/the-pad.pngThe Padhttps://www.thepadclimbing.org/employment/facilityUSA - CA, NV
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/co-the-spot.pngThe Spothttps://www.thespotgym.com/careersfacilitiesUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/trango.pngTrango // Tenayahttps://trango.com/pages/careersproductUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/treadwall-fitness-1.pngTreadwallhttps://treadwallfitness.com/careers/productUSA - MA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/nc-triangle-rock-club.pngTriangle Rock Club (choose location)https://www.trianglerockclub.com/morrisville/about/employment/facilityUSA - NC, VA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/co-ubergrippen.pngUbergrippenhttps://ugclimbing.com/jobs/facilityUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/UK-Climbing.pngUKC (jobs in UK)https://www.ukclimbing.com/news/job_finder/organizationUnited Kingdom
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/vertical-solutions.jpgVertical Solutions // Habit // Proxy // Pebblehttps://vsclimbinggyms.com/company/careersproductUSA - UT
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/vertical-world-1.pngVertical Worldhttps://verticalworld.com/facilityUSA - WA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/VITAL.pngVitalhttps://www.vitalclimbinggym.com/careersfacilityUSA - CA, NY, WA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/walltopia-1.pngWalltopiahttps://careers.walltopia.com/productsBulgaria
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/zenith.pngZenith Climbinghttps://zenithclimbing.com/employment/facilityUSA - MO

Capitan Unveils Innovative Automated Membership Referral System at Climbing Wall Association Summit

capitan header image Capitan, the leading software platform for climbing gyms, is excited to announce the launch of its new automated membership referral system. The announcement was made last week at the Climbing Wall Association Summit, showcasing Capitan’s commitment to empowering climbing gyms and enhancing the member experience. The new referral system transforms gym members into an effective sales force, leveraging their enthusiasm and network to drive membership growth. Through Capitan’s Climber App, members can easily access and share their unique referral codes with friends and family. This innovative feature offers gyms unprecedented flexibility in configuring their referral programs. Administrators can determine:
  • The discount amount new members receive upon joining.
  • The specific memberships eligible for the referral discount.
  • Whether the discount is restricted to first-time members only.
  • The credit the referring customer receives.
  • Automatic application of the credit to the referring customer’s next recurring bill.
  • The maximum number of referrals a member can generate each month.
“At Capitan, we believe in the power of community and the value of peer recommendations,” said Mary Cornfield, Cofounder & CEO of Capitan. “Our new referral system not only incentivizes members to share their love for climbing but also provides gyms with a robust tool to drive sustainable growth.” The referral feature is a direct result of feedback from Capitan’s roundtable discussions. These roundtables offer a space for customers to share their insights and vote on features that matter most to them. The referral system emerged as the most requested feature, highlighting its importance to the climbing community. “We are always listening to our customers and prioritizing their needs,” added Cornfield. “Our roadmap is shaped by their input, and the overwhelming demand for a referral system underscores our commitment to delivering solutions that drive real value for our clients.” Capitan invites all climbing gyms to explore this new feature and experience the benefits of an engaged and motivated membership base. For more information, schedule a call here to explore how it can help your organization or contact info@hellocapitan.com. About Capitan Capitan is a premier software platform designed specifically for climbing gyms. With a suite of tools for membership management, document management, marketing and more, Capitan helps gyms streamline operations and enhance the member experience. Founded on the principles of innovation and customer-centricity, Capitan continues to lead the way in providing cutting-edge solutions for the climbing industry.
CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.

Indiana Bouldering Gym Opens With a Focus on Immigrants and Refugees

Inside the new Summit City Climbing Co. facility
Summit City (pictured) is Fort Wayne’s first bouldering gym, and while climbing is the gym’s main purpose, its focus is also tied to the nonprofit organizations next door serving immigrants and refugees in the community. (All images courtesy of Summit City Climbing Co.)

Summit City Climbing Co. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Specs: Summit City Climbing Co., Fort Wayne’s first commercial climbing gym, opened to members on April 27th this year and held its grand opening party on May 18th. Prior to the bouldering-focused gym’s opening, founders Edwin Chow, Collin Jester, David Detweiler and Ryan Perkins would make the trek to North Mass Boulder—an Indianapolis climbing gym located two hours from their homes in Fort Wayne—at least once a week to get their climbing fix. “We were just waiting for someone to start a climbing gym [in Fort Wayne], because we were tired and we would probably save a lot of money [on transportation],” Chow explained.
Elevate Climbing Walls
Jester and Perkins have lived in Fort Wayne since birth and wanted “to show the city that it deserves a climbing gym,” Jester said. Jester noted the Fort Wayne metro area is growing fast, “with about half a million people and then about 1.8 million people within a 60-mile radius,” so they felt the area could use a climbing gym right in town. The team found a 3,400-square-foot space in proximity to three universities for their new bouldering gym, which Chow hopes within two years will act as a proof of concept for “a larger top rope facility in North Fort Wayne.” Inside the current gym is 2,130 square feet of bouldering surface on 10-to-15-foot walls, plus a fitness room with weights for additional strength training and a retail area.
Some of the bouldering walls at Summit City
The new gym has a variety of bouldering terrain, from slab to 30-degree and 40-degree overhanging walls.
The building that houses the gym is also home to multiple nonprofit organizations: Empowered Legal Aid Network (ELAN), which “[offers] holistic legal assistance to immigrants in the Fort Wayne community;” and Empowered International, a nonprofit started by Jester’s parents that’s focused on “equipping and empowering young people to pursue sustainable change,” with two locations in Haiti and now one in Fort Wayne, per the organizations’ websites. “Our dream for the facility is for it to be almost an immigration center,” Chow said. “Yes, it will have a climbing gym. But it will also be attached to a legal service where refugees, immigrants can find asylum and have legal help.”
Trango Holds Pardners
Chow noted one issue for many immigrants and refugees in the area is finding work, yet “they have so many skills and talents that they can offer,” he said. The team intends to employ refugees and immigrants at the climbing gym, and hopes there will be other opportunities onsite to work in legal services as a translator or in the attached automotive shop. “We want to get to know the individuals and provide…what they’re equipped with, what they can offer, because they have so much to offer the world,” Chow said. The gym operators are also planning to host fundraisers to support the work of Empowered International, ELAN and other nonprofits in Fort Wayne.
More bouldering walls and a mural at Summit City
According to a recent Instagram post, Summit City hosted routesetters from North Mass Boulder and Apex Climbing Gym for help with the gym’s opening set.
In terms of the climbing, the team is working to provide gym access at a discounted rate for immigrants and refugees in the community on a case-by-case basis. “We don’t want to have a blanket rate because every story and need is different,” said Chow. “This will actually help us know who they are and create a plan with them…It’ll take more time and investment, but they’re worth it.” The gym will also have an appreciation membership for “those whose job it is to make an impact in the city of Fort Wayne,” Chow said, including people working or volunteering at nonprofit organizations. Additionally, the team plans to host climbing nights for volunteers in the community as well as immigrants and refugees, intended to make the gym more accessible, promote the discounted rates, and bring the community together. “What is the best way then to get to know a different culture?” Chow asked. “It’s by climbing with them.”
Elevate Climbing Walls
Walls: Owner/Contractor Flooring: Kilter CRM Software: Approach Website: www.summitcityclimbing.com/ Instagram: @SummitCityClimbingCo In Their Words: “The vision of the building is to be a place for immigrants to feel welcomed and loved. However, many immigrants in every city live on the fringes of society due to X amount of reasons. There are so many reasons why immigrants feel marginalized and taken advantage of. But we believe a climbing gym can be a place where those living on the fringes can be integrated into a place where you can actually meet one another and engage with one another.” – Collin Jester, Co-Owner of Summit City Climbing Co.

The North Face Unveils LIGHTRANGE

As the “lightest and most breathable summer protection,” LIGHTRANGE brings an innovative offering without sacrificing what’s possible as an athlete and outdoors enthusiast.

The north face lightrange header image New York, NY – May 21, 2024The North Face, the world’s leading outdoors brand, is excited to introduce LIGHTRANGE™, a new-to-market product technology providing strong UPF protection and enhanced wicking benefits. With the North Face community in mind, TNF created LIGHTRANGE™, a material that athletes and outdoor enthusiasts can effortlessly wear, eliminating the need for additional preventative measures. The technology provides the best protection from UV radiation – accredited by the Skin Cancer Foundation – with ultraviolet protection ratings above UPF 40+ to keep you comfortable on the trail longer. Engineered with micro-grid weave technology, the slim fit, FlashDryTM materials offer enhanced moisture management to help keep you comfortable, allowing for flexibility and free movements. LIGHTRANGE™ is UPF performance enlightened UV defense that works without heavy materials that weigh you down – perfect for runners and athletes.
  • Lightweight- Optimal sun protection that’s so light you can it take anywhere.
  • Breathable – Designed with high-output activity in mind, to keep you cool and dry.
  • Sun Protection – Accredited by the Skin Cancer Foundation for UPF40+ ultraviolet protection.
The LIGHTRANGE™ collection includes two hero products, LIGHTRANGE SUN HOODIE and the LIGHTRANGE SHADOW TEE. Priced with the consumer in mind it ranges between $45-$80. The collection will be available for purchase online at TheNorthFace.com and in select stores starting May 21st.  Press Contacts thenorthface@ledecompany.com About The North Face® The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, LLC, was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world’s leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. For more information, please visit  www.thenorthface.com.
CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.

Divisionals: We Need Your Help

usac divisionals header image
Photo by Tony Wang of Region 32.
The USA Climbing Youth Divisional Championships are June 15-16 and we need your help! Many hands make light work and we’re thankful for everyone who has already signed up. We ask that at least one family member per competitor, as able, sign up for their respective Divisional Championship. Remember, these are two-day events, so please consider availability for both days: Check the Info Sheet for your event on your region’s page for more information. Many gyms offer perks for volunteering. Don’t forget – volunteers require a valid judge or “non-covered” volunteer membership, both of which are free. You can create or renew your membership here. We understand that volunteering may be challenging for your family. If you can’t volunteer, please contact your Volunteer Regional Coordinators to see how else you may be able to help. Thank you! Divisionals Overview Find Your Region
CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.

Climb Insider: Summit, Grip Showcase, Olympic Qualifiers

image of sasha diguilian at CWA summit 2024

Just a few thoughts

Today is a big day for the climbing industry. It’s day two of the CWA Summit (if you’re in Portland, stop by our booth!) and tonight is the CBJ Grip Showcase at PRG (make sure you vote!). On the other side of the world in Shanghai top athletes will begin the Olympic Qualifier, one of the last chances to earn a spot in the Paris games. Best wishes to all the climbing athletes and industry professionals gathering today! See The Freshest Job Posts Here

Community & Culture

OnSite

Comp Scene

For Routesetters

For Gym Managers

Work with Granite Arch – Climbing Jobs Weekly 2024 May 19

header image of granite arch climbing CBJ hosts the most active job board for climbing businesses and organizations. Below are the latest posts from this past week…
Programs Director Staff Manager Granite Arch Climbing Center Rancho Cordova, CA “We’re looking for a Programs Director to oversee the continuation of our youth programs’ legacy, as well as the development of a catalog of new adult-focused programming. In practice, this means holding responsibility for end-to-end management of all youth and adult programs, including assessing community needs for new programming, developing curriculum to fit community needs, creating a program schedule, setting prices, selecting staff, training staff, creating promotional materials, managing program enrollment, keeping non-program staff up to date on program changes, directly interfacing with program participants (and parents), filling in for coaches/instructors when necessary, collecting feedback, and making changes and improvements where necessary. Additionally, the Programs Director will be expected to contribute to high-level decision making as one of the four pillars of our management team alongside the Staff Manager, Facilities Manager, and gym ownership. We’re looking for a Staff Manager to oversee the day-to-day customer-facing operations that maintain our crucial relationship with our community. In practice, this means selecting, training, and managing our front counter and event staff, as well as helping to develop new policies, programs, and promotions as one of the four pillars of our management team alongside the Facilities Manager, Programs Director, and gym ownership.”
Trango Holds Pardners

JOB SEEKER TIPS:

What Your Interviewer Really Wants To Know By Noto Group “This question is an opportunity to display your leadership abilities. Provide specific examples where you may have challenged the status quo or taken a calculated risk. Leaders focus on creating an environment where their team’s talents shine. Beware of using exaggerated titles, be thoughtful about evaluating the scope of your role, and speak to multiple competencies when applicable.” Read the full article here

LATEST JOB OPENINGS

See all current jobs // Post your job FT = full time PT = part time
RECENT/TOP JOB POSTS AT CBJ LOCATION TYPE
Routesetter at Bridges El Cerrito, CA PT – routesetter
Programs Director at Granite Arch Rancho Cordova, CA FT – manager
Staff Manager at Granite Arch Rancho Cordova, CA PT – manager
Routesetter at Movement San Francisco, CA FT – routesetter
Customer Experience Supervisor at Sender One Santa Ana, CA FT – coach, front desk, instructor
Assistant Director at Alford Lake Camp Hope, ME Temp – instructor
Head Coach/Team Manager at Spire Bozeman, MT FT – coach, manager
Routesetter/Team Coach at Wallnuts St. John’s, NL FT – coach, routesetter
Assistant Project Manager at EP Climbing Bend, OR FT – manufacturing
Project Manager at EP Climbing Bend, OR FT – manufacturing
Head Routesetter at MoCo Bouldering Conroe, TX FT – routesetter
General Manager at Bouldering Project Salt Lake City, UT FT – manager
Gym Manager at The Front Salt Lake City, UT FT – manager
Gym Manager at Vertical World Seattle, WA FT – manager
Stout Adventure Coordinator at University of Wisconsin Menomonie, WI FT – manager
Routesetter at Eldorado Climbing Remote PT – routesetter

Career Centers of Climbing Industry

NAMETYPELOCATION
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/access-fund.pngAccess Fundhttps://www.accessfund.org/inside-access-fund/careersorganizationUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/wi-adventure-rock.pngAdventure Rockhttps://adventurerock.com/jobs/facilityUSA - WI
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/alpine-climbing-adventure-fitness.pngAlpine Climbing Adventure Fitnesshttps://climbatalpine.com/about/careers/facilityUSA - CA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/american-alpine-club.pngAmerican Alpine Clubhttps://americanalpineclub.org/jobsorganizationUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ascend.pngASCEND Climbinghttps://www.ascendclimbing.com/ascend-jobsfacilityUSA - OH, PA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ascent-studio.pngAscent Studiohttps://ascentstudio.com/employment/facilityUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/bonfire-collective.pngBonfire Collectivehttps://thebonfirecollective.com/team/serviceUSA - CO
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/bouldering-project.pngBouldering Project (pick location)https://boulderingproject.com/facilityUSA - MN, TX, UT, WA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/ab-calgary-climbing-centre.jpgCalgary Climbing Centrehttps://calgaryclimbing.com/employment/facilityCanada - AB
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/central-rock-gym.pngCentral Rock Gymhttps://centralrockgym.com/careers/facilityUSA - CT, FL, MA, NY, RI
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/delire-1.pngDelirehttps://www.delirescalade.com/en/carrieresproductCanada - QC
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/eldorado-wall-company.pngEldorado Climbinghttps://eldowalls.com/pages/careersproductUSA - CO - Louisville
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/entre-prises-1.pngEP Climbinghttps://epclimbing.com/na/en/ep-usa-careersproductUSA - OR - Bend
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Logo-Everlast-Climbing-square.jpgEverlast / Kumiki / Groperz / eXpressionhttps://everlastclimbing.com/pages/careersproductUSA - MN
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/fa-climbing.pngFA Climbinghttps://faclimbing.com/careers/facilityUSA - IL, PA
https://www.climbingbusinessjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/on-guelph-grotto.pngGuelph Grottohttps://www.guelphgrotto.com/careersfacilityCanada - ON - Guelph
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Gyms Have Changed; Culture Has Stayed the Same – CBJ Podcast with Bryan Pletta

Bryan Pletta podcast - Gyms Have Changed; Culture Has Stayed the Same
Graphic by Climbing Business Journal; all photos courtesy of Bryan Pletta.
Bryan Pletta founded Stone Age Climbing Gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the 1990s. On this episode of the CBJ Podcast, Pletta details what it was like to create the gym, and he expounds on the gym’s progression over the years—ultimately resulting in two current locations, Stone Age North and Stone Age Midtown. Pletta also discusses “gym culture” of the 1990s: How that culture has changed since then, and also how the culture has not actually changed that much. Pletta also talks about the logistics of hosting competitions and the benefits of competitions for any gym. Thank you OnSite for your support! And thank you Devin Dabney for your music!

Timestamps

00:00 – Intro 03:16 – Twists and turns of Stone Age creation 04:58 – From idea to inception 10:25 – Staffing a gym 13:26 – Reflecting on the 90s 17:03 – More climbers inside, more climbers outside 19:31 – Pletta’s take on mentorship 22:25 – Shifting climber behavior 28:35 – Interviewing future staff members 30:11 – Employee retention 37:16 – Competitions 40:53 – Competition prep 44:35 – Local sponsors 46:00 – Learning from events 52:31 – Words of wisdom for a past self 55:02 – Closing
Rockwerx

Abridged Transcript

BURGMAN: …Can you just tell me how it all came together for you, from idea to facility, to opening the doors [of Stone Age Climbing Gym]?

PLETTA: Sure, yeah. I was working at Sandia National Labs as an engineer. I’m an electrical engineer by training and worked in the robotics program over there and had that job for about 14 years…So, about 14 years into it, I had a little midlife crisis and thought, “If I stick around here, I’m going to be here till I’m 60. Is this what I want to do?” And I decided that it wasn’t, and I wanted to kind of go off and do something different, do something on my own for myself. And I wasn’t a businessman, didn’t really know business, but I felt like I knew climbing. And at the time, Albuquerque had a couple of climbing gyms, but they were small, and I didn’t feel like they were really meeting the market need and kind of evolving with the rapidly changing industry of the time. And [I] felt like I could do a better job, and so [I] took a whirl at it. And here we are 27 years later…
Early days of Stone Age Climbing Gym
The original Stone Age Climbing Gym opened in Albuquerque in 1997, with crumb-rubber flooring and not much HVAC or insulation. “It was a nice warehouse,” Pletta reflects, but a different facility than the two modern Stone Age gyms of today. “[I] kind of feel like we’ve been through those evolutions of the industry,” he says.

How did you find people that wanted to work at the gym? Even routesetters; how did you find routesetters?

…Well, on the staffing front, I think we were lucky in some ways, and we learned some lessons in other ways. But a really good friend of mine at the time, Lance Hadfield, had been a competitive climber, had done some routesetting, was working in construction in Colorado. And I knew I needed someone to help me run the gym. And so, I asked him to come back to Albuquerque, asked him if he wanted to be a part of it. And so, he came on as our first employee. He was our head routesetter, only routesetter. And then we did occasionally have some community volunteers that would come in and help out. But back in that day, we were kind of doing some of the volunteer trade for staffing, because we were on a total shoestring [budget]….
Trango Holds Pardners

The 1990s are complicated. It’s like, do we reflect on it fondly, or do we reflect on it from an industry standpoint as, like, “Gosh, I’m glad we’re not there anymore.” So how do you?

I would say both. I don’t really think our culture has really changed over the years. I think our culture has changed the same—I mean, stayed the same—but I think the gyms have changed a lot. But I don’t think the culture and the people that we hire, the type of people that we hire, [have changed]. And certainly, we’ve made some mistakes over the years, and maybe more mistakes early on than we have later. But I think you create your culture by the people that you hire, and we’ve tried to hire the same type of people. Our values as a company are service, passion and integrity. And so, we try and hire for those values. And I think we’ve always tried to hire for those values, although maybe early on it wasn’t as intentional, and I probably didn’t really know how to do that as well as I do now. And so, I think we’ve always had good, solid employees, and they’ve just gotten better. I think they’ve just gotten better over the years, just because my skills as a manager and then the managers that I’ve hired, their skills have just gotten better. And we’ve been able to kind of keep that culture rolling…
Climbing inside Stone Age
“We’re very welcoming and inclusive, and we want new people to become rock climbers,” Pletta says of Stone Age’s gym culture. “Everything that we do, we really kind of focus on turning everybody that walks into the door into a rock climber. And so that’s kind of how our culture has been built, I think, over the years.”

What are the keys to keeping somebody employed and engaged for 28 years? How do you do it as an owner?

You pay them fairly, pay them well. Make sure that they have a stake in what goes on, and that they have importance to their job, they can contribute to the company and the direction of the company. I’ve been here, involved at the top, since the beginning. And certainly, over years, I’ve learned to be less of a micromanager and let my employees take on more responsibilities and things. But I guess Lance has just been such an important part of our company from the beginning, and I’ve always pretty much just let him run the routesetting crew and run that part of the business. And so, yeah, he’s been engaged and has had a good run at it…
Trango Holds Pardners

Stone Age really plays an important part historically in the heritage of American climbing gyms and the American comp scene, because you have really run some really highly publicized and important competitions since the gym was founded. And so, I’m just wondering if you could talk a little bit about the value that competitions give you as a business, the value of hosting a competition?

I think a lot of it is just our connection with climbing and climbing culture and the sport of climbing, and trying to support that from the ground level. Also, I will say that Lance has been a big part of that, because it’s something that he’s really been interested in over the years, and puts his heart and soul into creating the best competition for all of the athletes and everybody that’s involved. I’ve supported him more on the management side and administrative side, to making sure that we have the resources to run a quality comp. And I think everybody involved looks at it as something that, “This is our opportunity to really do our best and show somebody a great time at our climbing comp…”
A Yank-n-Yard competition final crowd
About the gym’s Yank-n-Yard competition, Pletta says, “It’s something that our community just looks forward to, and our staff looks forward to it, and it’s just part of the gym these days…I keep thinking if we should keep doing this, does it make any sense to keep doing it. But I just don’t think there’s any way we could stop.”

Do you do any sort of debrief after Yank-n-Yard is over, or any competition is over? Do you have any sort of shakedown with either Lance or the rest of the staff and discuss how it went, what was good, what maybe next year you want? Or does that all just kind of get lost in the shuffle because it’s so busy getting back to business?

Yeah, we always do a debrief after the comp and after our climbing festival, the membership sale. We always do a debrief after that and try and learn from it and improve on the next year. I think that’s something that’s been core to our company growth over the years is this idea of continual improvement and trying to always do better than the last year. So, yeah, one of the big things that we do with the Yank-n-Yard that most competitions don’t do is we host a bouldering comp on our lead wall. And we’ve done that ever since we had the professional category to create better spectator space. Because our bouldering area doesn’t really have great spectator space, whereas we’ve created more spectator space for our lead wall. But it also requires a huge routesetting lift because you have to strip the entire lead wall, you have to put up boulder problems and oftentimes big features, and then tear it all down so that you can reset lead routes the very next week. And so that’s always been a huge thing…
Air bags used for a Yank-n-Yard competition
Stone Age has been making use of temporary air bags during Yank-n-Yard—a unique competition that involves some bouldering on a lead wall, with the goal of giving spectators a better view of the action—so the additional flooring can be more easily assembled before the event and disassembled afterward.

If you could talk to your 1997 self, would you give any words of wisdom, any advice on creating the gym? Any caution, “Don’t do this, definitely don’t do this,” or, “Do this”? Or would you just kind of let it happen like it happened and let it evolve to where we are today?

Well, I certainly have learned some things along the way. And probably the biggest thing is just hiring: our hiring process and hiring good people and making sure that we get the right employees. And that’s been, I think, my biggest learning curve over the years. And it happened naturally, though. So, I don’t think that there’s anything that was necessarily wrong or that we did badly at the time. It was just the times that we were in. So, yeah, it’s been a good ride…