The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 12

FEATURE

Liz Seehr on route
pre-pandemic at
Progression Climbing
in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina. The gym is
temporarily closed.

"SOME OF THE GYMS ARE WITHERING, DYING
TO OPEN UP. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE WHO WOULD
BE PSYCHED WHEN GYMS OPEN AGAIN."
-David Roetzel, Edelrid rep

Rennak continues. "A lot of gyms
will find their quiet hours will fill
up. Some gyms will have to expand
hours and stay open much later."

DISPATCH: BEND ROCK GYM
When the Bend Rock Gym (BRG) in
Oregon opened on May 18, it did so
under the direction of state and local authorities. "We're emphasizing
personal cleanliness. Everyone has
to sanitize their hands upon entry,
between routes, and upon exit. And
everyone-staff and climbers-has
to be wearing a mask at all times,"
Rich Breuner, director of operations,
says. "We're also limiting access to
members and punch-pass owners

12 THE WEEKLY / OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020

only. And we don't rent harnesses or
shoes, at least not currently."
To minimize the interactions
between the front desk staff and
members, the gym is not accepting
cash and is not handing out receipts.
To help the community adjust to its
new guidelines, the BRG added a
comprehensive "new policies" link to
its website.
The gym has closed every other
route on its roped climbing walls to
adhere to social distancing regulations. It's also asking members to
book visits in advance and limit
climbing and training time to one
hour and 45 minutes and training in
weight areas to 45 minutes.

"The community has been supportive, patient, and kind, which
has been tremendously reassuring,"
Breuner says.

PLANNING BUILDS
COMMUNITY
Since visits to the gym will come
on a by-reservation basis, Rennak
expects people to pair up and group
up with more regularity, so the same
people will be climbing together
more often. This is where outdoor
climbing and indoor climbing have
differed. Meeting for outdoor climbing has always required setting a
date and time and sticking with
it. Gym climbing has been more
casual, especially when it comes to
bouldering, which, unlike roped
climbing, doesn't require a partner.
"You'll want to climb with your
close friends," he says. "You'll have
to make a plan now. It forces an
even tighter community."

A N D R E W KO R N Y L A K

after day. Like, don't climb on the
blue routes today. Today we're on red
and black."
Rennak believes due to social distancing measures, gyms will need
to have people come in at different
times of the day, not just the peak
hours between 4 and 8 p.m. He also
suspects the days of hanging out
at gyms all day, every day, gym-rat
style, will be slow to come back.
"Fewer people coming in, and
there's added hygiene, and all your
costs will go up. Your capacity goes
down," says Rennak. "Economics 101
says something has to give. That's
one thing no climbing gym is talking about out loud. No one wants to
know how the value of their climbing gym membership will change.
Day prices will likely change."
"Every gym will hit capacity
during peak time. Many people will
have to find a new time to climb,
like making reservations online,"


https://www.bendrockgym.com/

The Weekly - May 27, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Weekly - May 27, 2020

Contents
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - Cover1
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - Cover2
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - Contents
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 4
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 5
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 6
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 7
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 8
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 9
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 10
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 11
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 12
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 13
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 14
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 15
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 16
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 17
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 18
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 19
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 20
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 21
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 22
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 23
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 24
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - 25
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - Cover3
The Weekly - May 27, 2020 - Cover4
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