As the UK tracks the spread of Coronavirus and the UK government catches up on the restrictions already in force in Europe, it’s likely that all UK climbing walls will be closed eventually within a few weeks or even less.

This is the worst event to hit our industry in the history of indoor climbing. So, with loyal employees to think about and the future of our businesses to protect it is a worrying time.

With every cloud, there is a silver lining. Our centres take a lot of wear and tear, open almost a double shift each week it’s impossible or really difficult at best to get on top of some of the bigger jobs.

Following on from the pattern across Europe it’s clear that when gyms close that other businesses remain open.

The closures are ideal for refurbishment, deep cleans, painting, and even structural alterations, with the public safely locked out we can get the run of our centres to do the jobs that would usually be too big to tackle, even in the summer months.

We have several gyms already stockpiling, not toilet rolls, but on screws, paint, plywood, and tee nuts. Especially on paint. The perfect time frame to strip the walls, clean them, fill all those screw holes, and do a first-class job of refurbishing them and get ready for re-opening.

It might seem terrible now but we will all be re-opening at some point. Speak to your bank early, explain the situation and they will require the usual cash flow forecast of how you plan to repay any additional borrowing you need to secure now. As an industry, we should value our long term staff and look to keep them busy during any shutdown.

For those who can see past the crisis, they will be pleased with their virtually new climbing gym, the one that they never thought they would be refurbishing during a busy 2020.

With the Olympics still on track to happen, we will see a huge increase in the interest in climbing that the Tokyo 2020 event will generate.

This will see an increase in the number of expansions and new projects in late 2020 and into 2021.

Here at Serious Climbing Distribution our team comprises gym owners, wall builders, and hold producers, and we have an industry-wide view of the indoor climbing world. With the major gym chains not slowing down their expansions, despite the crisis, we are confident that we will as an industry look back on this time and wonder why we didn’t make better use of the downtime.

Old school wall before refurbishment - wall climbing - holds

Old school wall before refurbishment.

During the refurbishment.

During the refurbishment.

Post refurbishment and looking fresh!

Post refurbishment and looking fresh!