Is it just me or does your local wall go up a pound each week ???
£10 just to boulder !!!! The world's gone mad 😧
Hmm, now let me think. Rent, business rates, insurance, heating and lighting, water costs, staff, holds and route setting, webcosts, advertising, and all the other costs like coffee machines , keeping the toilets working, cleaning. I am sure there are more. If you can run a bouldering centre for less and make a profit (which is the reason they exist), please get to it.
I'm intrigued. Where is this wall that's only been open 10 weeks and used to charge a quid entry?
And you can probably only stay all day for that as well. Set up your own and do it cheaper, that will teach them a lesson they wont forget
> Is it just me or does your local wall go up a pound each week ???
> £10 just to boulder !!!! The world's gone mad 😧
So £8.33 for them + VAT for the government
Then rent for the building, council tax, the interest payments on the loans that paid for the building to get fitted out. They'd be lucky to have £4 to pay for the staff, insurance, electricity/gas, supplies, maintenance, new holds. Half of what the employer pays out for staff is snaffled by government as employer and employee PAYE and corporation tax gets taken off any profit before the business owners get their share.
People are paying to climb or because they want a new phone or a cup of coffee and almost all the money they hand over goes to the taxman, landlords and bankers. It is a complete piss-take which is forcing down the wages of everyone who does useful work.
Count yourself lucky, one of my local walls is now £13.
I feel your pain brother.
I went to a clay pigeon shooting center today and it was £17 for the clays, I was speechless as I handed over my card to pay, the same amount of clays at my local club ground is only £11.
On the way home I reflected on this and decided it was actually good value, the club ground has 5 shooting stands, the commercial place has about 30, the club ground is run by volunteers, the commercial place has paid staff, the club ground is open from 1000 to 1400 every other Sunday, the commercial place is open every day during daylight hours. Finally the club shoot only covers its running costs, the commercial does that and needs to turn a profit.
There's a lot of justification here, and they're not wrong, but I do agree with OP.
It's not that I disagree with what others have said but I know if it was much more then I'd have to make a hard decision about how often I could go. Purely my own issue but not one I like being faced with when I'm doing what I enjoy I guess.
There is of course one dreaded course of action I could take ... climbing outside.
Paying as you go at climbing walls is always going to be the least economical way to do it. Membership and pre-pay options at least halve the cost, if you go enough. If you don't go enough to make the memberships worthwhile then they don't need to appeal to you anyway.
Climbing walls are expensive to run and require a lot of re-investment (both in training staff up, expansion, rebuilds, buying new holds and volumes, sundries, etc.). What people often overlook is that they're a massive investment to set up initially and will be lucky if the break even in the first year. I'd wager a lot of walls aren't profitable until at least a couple of years after opening. If in 5 years the wall is worth a bit for the owners to sell then don't you think they've earned that?
To give you an idea of costs involved, it would be about £40k to mat a bouldering centre, and I know of a recently opened wall that spent upward of £250k on volumes and macros.
Cheaper than the cinema and you can go all day.
I wish I could boulder all day! Maybe I should ask for a discount for weaklings like myself who are pumped after 30mins.
> Hmm, now let me think. Rent, business rates, insurance, heating and lighting, water costs, staff, holds and route setting, webcosts, advertising, and all the other costs like coffee machines , keeping the toilets working, cleaning. I am sure there are more. If you can run a bouldering centre for less and make a profit (which is the reason they exist), please get to it.
I was thinking about this the other day, my local appears to have a pretty extraordinary turnover for the size of the business (site size, staff size, setup costs etc). I must be radically underestimating some of those costs, by at least an order of magnitude if they're struggling to turn a decent profit. Good for them, wish I'd had the gumption and balls to build it when there was an obvious gap in the market.
Awesome walls at stoke is 6 quid in the day.
Where as another localish one is £11
If you want to be cheeky, sign in first thing in the morning before work when it's off-peak then bugger off. Come back in the eve for your climb. At most centres when you sign in, you're signed in for the whole day.
It definitely violates fair usage but you obviously feel that the prices they're charging aren't fair either.
In a market economy the price is often not actually set, as many here seem to suggest, on the simple formula of costs + profit = price. I would wager to say that most places set the price based on the market. I.e. what do the competitors charge? How much does other regular gyms charge? A new place with fancy new walls will likely feel it can charge more than an old and run down place.
A bouldering gym's most costs will be fixed, i.e. they are the same regardless of the number of visitors, so the profitability of said gym will vary a lot depending on how popular it becomes.
> and all the other costs like coffee machines
Surely the coffee machines pay for themselves, or do walls serve up free coffee these days?
This has definitely got to me a lot this year because I have climbed for free for 3 years but have recently had to start paying again.
Thing is though I can afford it. What upsets me Is how these prices make it such a middle class hobby that is pretty much inaccessible to a huge swaithe of the population. I don’t find much diversity at the climbing wall if I’m honest.
I went bouldering in NYC and it was £23 so imagine the stagnant level of diversity you find there.
I know someone who lives and climbs in NYC and, again, the pay-as-you-go prices are ridiculous compared to memberships.
If you're going by that then virtually all leisure activities where payment is required are inaccessible, from going for a swim, to watching a film, or going to see a lower tier football match. I suppose it's more a case of leisure activities in general being more of a middle-class thing, rather than being specific to climbing.
Having said that the population at my local bouldering wall actually seems more diverse than the general population of the area.
My normal gym is 13.99 a month for 24 hour access, has a million quids worth of equipment, free classes and is nice and clean in a new building.
My local wall is 8.50 a visit, open less than 12 hours a day, paid for classes and is in a dank former warehouse with leaking roof and damp grotty patched up mats..
I don't particularly think climbing is expensive but I don't thinking it's great value for money either especially as many people have suggested half the staff are on basic wages to get free climbing access.
As for price Vs diversity, I'm often the only white person in the gym but that's far more to do with its location in the city than it is to do with price.
> If you're going by that then virtually all leisure activities where payment is required are inaccessible, from going for a swim, to watching a film, or going to see a lower tier football match.
The majority of Swimming pools are local authority subsidised. Younger people also get swimming lessons in school. Football practice is often pennies. My local running club is 50p. Cricket and rugby the same. Odeon is £5 but that’s not a fitness activity you ideally need to do weekly.
Bouldering is £11 so no not really similar at all.
> My normal gym is 13.99 a month for 24 hour access, has a million quids worth of equipment, free classes and is nice and clean in a new building.
> My local wall is 8.50 a visit, open less than 12 hours a day, paid for classes and is in a dank former warehouse with leaking roof and damp grotty patched up mats..
Sounds like a grim wall but it's not fair to compare it to a gym membership. Most gyms survive on members paying but not actually going, climbing walls people pay per visit and subscribers / members tend to like to get their moneys worth.
> I don't particularly think climbing is expensive but I don't thinking it's great value for money either especially as many people have suggested half the staff are on basic wages to get free climbing access.
£10 for a night's activity. Great value in my opinion. I would typically go for about 3 hours, even though I don't drink a trip to the pub would be far more that £10 for 3 hours.
Attending sports clubs isn't really the same as a bouldering wall. My local mountaineering club works out at 60p a week over the year.
I probably didn't phrase it correctly, but I was thinking about comparing walls to other fully staffed leisure facilities. Locally - leisure centre - £8, trampoline park - £10, One-off gym session (council subsidised) - £6. I paid £9.25 to watch a film at the weekend, and it's £15 to watch the local rugby.
My local wall is £9.50 for a one-off and £6 if you go weekly, so I think it is similar.
> > and all the other costs like coffee machines
> Surely the coffee machines pay for themselves, or do walls serve up free coffee these days?
Yes. Climbing works is free tea and coffee if you walk or bike to the wall.
I suspect the main factors are rent, set up costs, number of staff, number of customers and local competition. If your wall is the only decent facility in the area, they can get away with charging more
In Birmingham there are two bouldering walls just outside the city centre, £8 each or about £30-35 a month if you take out a 6 month membership. There are also two lead and boulder walls just outside or not far from the city centre. They are £9. Lots of other walls in the West Midlands as well. I suspect the competition keeps the prices down.
I can't compare a climbing wall to a gym but you can to a pub?
depends on how long your membership is. mine is lifetime and I recon it will cost < £1/visit after 15 years. Not a typical story but it certainly pays to be a member.
and for comparison £5/minute at ifly.
The point of my post was that gym membership models rely on people paying but not actually going. Climbing walls and pubs for that matter rely on people going and spending money each visit. There are membership options at most walls but unlike the gym subscription people actually use what they pay for at the wall.
I still maintain that on a £ per hour basis climbing walls are very cheap.
It is about 30CHF here for 1 entry, so 24 pound.
It wouldn't be so bad if it was an agreeable experience. It's a chore and so increasingly irrelevant to the outdoors.
Westway annual membership £365 - hard to complain about that...
> Is it just me or does your local wall go up a pound each week ???
> £10 just to boulder !!!! The world's gone mad 😧
Quit whining and use it as a training opportunity. Set yourself an acceptable cost per problem/attempt. 20p=50 problems, 50p=20 problems. Then aim to get value for money put of each visit.
When prices go up, you just have to train more.
It is exhausting being tight fisted.
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