The Top CBJ Stories of 2023

Top CBJ Stories of 2023
Top CBJ Stories of 2023
Image by Climbing Business Journal

2023 has come and gone…but you haven’t missed these favorite stories on CBJ! Here’s what the professionals of the indoor climbing industry read most last year…

Gym News

High Point Climbing and Fitness to Open a 44,000-Square-Foot Gym in Downtown Orlando at the Packing District (by CBJ Press Release Service)
High Point Climbing and Fitness is opening a new facility in downtown Orlando, Florida, just north of the city center.

VITAL Makes Next Move in NYC Market, Gets Started on New 24/7 Gym (by CBJ)
VITAL—which operates gyms in CA, WA and NY—has a new 24/7 gym on the way in New York City, this time in a unique Manhattan building.

Mexico Booms With “Modern-Style” Climbing Gyms (by John Burgman)
Mexico’s climbing gym scene began with homewalls and outdoor climbing, but the industry has entered a new era of late with modern-style gyms.

Movement Expands; Acquires Multiple Gyms in the Northeast (by CBJ)
Seven months after purchasing four Summit gyms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Movement announced the acquisition of The Cliffs’ five gyms.


Industry News

Gyms and Trends 2022 (by CBJ)
For the first time ever, we reveal multi-year climbing gym industry growth rates in the U.S. and Canada, and overview gym development in Mexico.

Indoor Climbing Expo (by CBJ)
The Indoor Climbing Expo came to the Chattanooga Convention Center in Tennessee on December 13-16, 2023.

Massive Auto Belay Lawsuit Settlement Hits the Industry (by CBJ)
Vertical World and C3 Manufacturing recently agreed to pay a climber $6 million, one of the largest settlements in the climbing gym industry’s history, following an auto belay accident.

Can Business Leaders in Arkansas Change Climbing Development? (by University of Arkansas – Outdoor Industries Program)
Business-backed outdoor infrastructure development is already paying dividends in NWA, and now the focus is shifting toward climbing.

What American gyms can learn from Europe’s gym industry – CBJ Podcast With Dean Privett (by John Burgman)
Dean Privett, founder of two U.S. gyms and Moments Climbing in Finland, gives his take on some of the ways European and U.S. gyms differ.

TACO Skin Sander from Chalk Cartel

Setter Beta

9 Routesetting Essentials (by CBJ and Jackie Hueftle)
Climbing facilities need to make sure their setting department has the proper tools and equipment that setters need to do their jobs in the most efficient and safest way possible.

The Drill: A Routesetter’s Best Friend (by Jackie Hueftle and Joe Robinson)
The impact driver—or drill—is one of the most essential tools of the routesetting art; choosing the right one can be an art in and of itself.

Building Sustainable Routesetting Teams—and How Setting Exercises Can Help (by Devin Dabney)
There’s a lot that goes into forging crews that work well as a unit and last, including setting exercises which can help shake up routines.

Routesetting Models: Preserving the Passion (Truth Behind the Trade – Chapter 5) (by Dave Wetmore)
Dave’s story in this series begins and ends at The Boulder Field, where he’s found a new sense of freedom in his routesetting work of late.

Essentials for Routesetting on Ropes (by Foxman McCarthy-James with Jackie Hueftle)
Routesetting on ropes requires a full suite of technical equipment on hand, from full-body harnesses to ascenders, pulleys, etriers and more.

TACO Skin Sander from Chalk Cartel

Manager Beta

Guidebook for Climbing Industry Professionals (by CBJ)
The world’s best list of resources for climbing gym operators, filterable by business area and regularly updated.

Are Markets Approaching Saturation? Behind the Desk with Lucas Kovalcik at The Gravity Vault (by CBJ)
When it comes to the climbing gym saturation question, The Gravity Vault founder Lucas Kovalcik says “we are only scratching the surface.”

3 Things to Do and Not Do When Developing a Climbing Gym: Ryan Studio’s Insider Tips (by Ryan Studio)
No two climbing gym projects are the same, but there are first principles/lessons which carry over. Architect Chris Ryan shares a few of them.

Pay What You Can: It’s Not Just for Nonprofits (7 Tips for For-Profit Gyms) (by Joe Robinson)
Boulders has been bringing in more climbers and more revenue through its Climb4Community membership that has now expanded to The Pad’s gyms.


Climbing Hold Businesses Around the World Are Working on Sustainability…One Grip at a Time (by John Burgman and Joe Robinson)
Recyclable grips, upcycling and eco-mixes have been raising the sustainability bar in the climbing hold sector to a whole new level.

Moving an Immovable Idea – the Kilter/Lemur Adjustable Wall (by Kilter with Holly Yu Tung Chen)
Adjustable Kilter Boards have set the standard for years, but the giant Adjustable Slab and Steep Wall are taking things to the next level.

2023 Grip List Awards (by Jonathan Littauer)
The 10th anniversary of the CBJ Grip List is as exciting as ever, with an upset in the main vote and longtime favorites stealing the show.

Harness Consulting