/ Wall Closed? Don't cancel your membership!

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Paul Sagar 20 Mar 2020

I just got an email that my local wall (Yonder in Walthamstow) saying they will close for the foreseeable future.

In the email they asked people to consider not cancelling their memberships, as this is a new gym and a start-up business, and they need all the help they can get to survive this crisis.

Obviously, this won't be an option for many people who are about to take a huge financial hit. But if, like me, you can afford to keep paying, please do consider it. Jobs - and having a wall to climb at in 6 months! - may depend on it.

I just moved house and only joined on Monday. I've been there a total of once, on Monday, before I decided to social distance as much as possible. Most expensive indoor climbing trip I've ever had! But in the scheme of things, for me it's absorbable.

Let's all do what we can.

Post edited at 14:47
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Graeme Alderson 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Thanks for posting.

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Wiley Coyote2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

It's already an hour's  trip to any of my 'local' walls so I am happy to keep them open if I can

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Lemony 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Agreed, offered to do this with Climb Newcastle but they declined and say they'll have a crowdfunder if needed. Definitely something other walls should consider.

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Neil Williams 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lemony:

Big Rock have asked if people will keep their direct debit going and as long as I am being paid I will.  I'd be paying it anyway, I'm going to have a very cheap couple of months, and I've spent a month without going before due to an injury so it's no different really (even if it goes on longer).

There's also a boot camp type thing I do where I will do the same.

Post edited at 15:29
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brianjcooper 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

I thought the Government was going to financially help businesses? Commendable of you to not cancel your membership. Be nice to think the wall will reciprocate with your mortgage if needed. 

Post edited at 19:30
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Lemony 20 Mar 2020
In reply to brianjcooper:

Sigh, I find this the most tediously small minded attitude. I gain hugely from the businesses in my local area both in terms of the opportunities they offer me and the life they bring to the place. Our climbing walls are a massive part of our local climbing community run by people who I like and respect and I've had literally thousands of hours of pleasure from them, I don't want that to go away and will take steps to try to ensure that doesn't happen. 

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DenzelLN 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lemony:

Agreed, my life changed for the better when i started climbing and it all revolves around my local wall.

£1.13 per day is a pittance in my opinion.

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brianjcooper 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lemony:

Sorry if my post upset some people. I do care, as I have shown by supporting other businesses in the past that DIDN'T have any financial backing and were about to fold. My local pub being one of those. 

Post edited at 21:05
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Paul Sagar 20 Mar 2020
In reply to brianjcooper:

Nothing to stop you supporting both. Set up a crowd funder for your local pub.

Post edited at 23:07
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brianjcooper 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

> Nothing to stop you supporting both. Set up a crowd funder for your local pub.

It survived Paul.

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Misha 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

That’s very commendable of you. I don’t have any current memberships anyway but if I did have a direct debit I’d cancel it. There is government support being made available for small businesses so that should be the first port of call. The wall’s bank might also be willing to make a loan. Conversely, if I had a prepaid membership, I wouldn’t expect it to be refunded. Suspended perhaps but that’s only useful if the wall doesn’t go bust.

As I said on another thread, the underlying business should survive even if the company goes into administration - someone else would probably buy it as it should still be a viable business, especially once free of any debts such as rent arrears. So change of ownership and financing, yes, possibly. Permanent shutdown, probably not in most cases.

The people I feel sorry for are the staff but I doubt many / any of them are being retained, so not sure that continued subs would help them anyway...

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Oceanrower 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Misha:

> The people I feel sorry for are the staff but I doubt many / any of them are being retained, so not sure that continued subs would help them anyway...

I can only, obviously, speak for the wall that I work at but you think wrong...

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Misha 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

Great to hear that staff are being retained. The 80% of pay government subsidy should help.

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Jenny C 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Full marks to The Climbing Works for stating in their press release that all memberships will be suspended until they reopen.

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galpinos 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

The Depot have done similar. I will continue paying unless my financial situation takes a turn for the much worse, for whatever reason.

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Neil Williams 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

Big Rock have done the same but have asked if anyone will continue.  I'm still in work (I work from home anyway) so will do as long as my job doesn't go.  As I mentioned it's going to be a cheap few months anyway.

Post edited at 09:59
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I like climbing 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Paul Sagar:

Thanks for flagging this. My local wall is the Castle and they immediately emailed suspending the memberships. Like you I’ve told them to keep billing me.

Hope all our walls survive. Good luck to Yonder too - great place !

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thepodge 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Jenny C:

They also said they've let all their temp and part time staff go. 

Instead of supporting walls and people who have kept their jobs I'll be supporting those who lost theirs by booking training and such with the unemployed part time coach. 

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Jenny C 21 Mar 2020
In reply to thepodge:

> They also said they've let all their temp and part time staff go. 

The biggest outlay for walls like The Works is staffing, so with no income cutting staff is a no brainer if they want to have a business at the end of this.

(The government 80% subsidy will hopefully mean that they will be able to review this....?) 

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