The function of climbing walls at Family Entertainment Centers is changing along with climbing’s growth and relevance. Many FEC administrators have long considered climbing to be a secondary attraction. That perception, nevertheless, is starting to shift for a number of reasons, giving place to the increasingly important job of moving up the FEC activity ladder.
The choice to include a climbing component in your facility depends on your activity mix and overall business plan, and it’s not just a matter of following the newest fad. The merits and negatives of the climbing wall itself must be weighed against how it will affect the ROI (Return On Investment) of the nearby activities, just like with any new attraction.
Of course, there are two main factors to consider while thinking about ROI:
- increasing profits
- lowering expenses
In this piece, we’ll examine the problem from both angles. Let’s start by discussing how climbing walls can assist FECs in generating more money before moving on to some cost-cutting measures that will boost your long-term profit margins.
Impact of wall climbing on revenue
Climbing walls perform worse on a per-person basis than traditional Family Entertainment Center staples like bowling or go-karts in terms of pure ROI. This raises the question of why modern climbing walls are so frequently hailed as successful revenue producers.
The link between climbing walls and other well-liked FEC activities is the key to the answer. Climbing walls have the power to encourage highly visible (and shareable) social interactions that pump life and excitement into your entire facility more than almost any other component.
Large spectrum factor
Climbing walls provide an unusually high spectator factor, in contrast to standard FEC anchor activities like mini golf or laser tag. They are among the most picturesque activities available and are frequently the first thing you notice when you go into a new Family Entertainment Center because of how vertical they are, which increases engagement for parents and non-participants.
This additional engagement can result in a beneficial combination of social proof, potential followers, and organic marketing material with the correct floor plan and climbing wall design.
In addition to having a high spectator appeal, climbing walls can be changed innumerably, either by changing out the holds or by including a competitive element by playing well-known climbing games. Simple and frequent feature changes can encourage higher rates of repeat business and boost membership sales (potentially with an option to upsell from the basic membership package).
Additional sources of revenue
Similar to bowling, renting out climbing gear can generate additional money that goes beyond simple pay-to-play. Harnesses and, depending on the wall, climbing shoes, may be available for hire.
Can be customized to certain age ranges
Working with a premier climbing wall manufacturer, like Thrill Syndicate, allows you to create climbing walls that are ideal for a variety of age groups, including walls that are vividly colorful or themed for climbers in the important 8–12 age range.
You can create more difficult walls that will be more appealing to teens and parents if you’re looking for strategies to increase your user base. In this situation, you might wish to think about renting climbing shoes. Compared to socks or regular sneakers, climbing shoes are far superior at holding small footholds.
One of the activities with the fastest global growth right now is climbing. The popularity of celebrity climbers on social media and the inclusion of climbing in the 2020 Summer Olympics have led to an unprecedented increase in demand for climbing walls, especially for beginners.
The popularity of climbing is growing rapidly, with a second competition already added to the 2024 Olympic schedule and major media companies like HBO approving climbing-related programming.
Reducing operating costs for climbing walls
Finding strategies to lower your running costs serves as the second component of improving ROI in addition to raising revenues. Unfortunately, maintaining the greatest safety requirements while cutting expenses can be a tricky balance in the FEC industry.
Installation of auto belays is the solution. Without the help of additional staff members or skilled belay partners, auto belays are portable, modular systems that protect climbers.
A healthier throughput
Auto belays not only cost less to train and staff, but also have a substantially higher user throughput than manual belays. One benefit is that no knots are necessary. The user is then prepared to climb after inserting a connector into the harness’s front belay loop.
Advice: Rather than using the traditional locking carabiners, many FECs prefer Self Belay connectors for an extra measure of security. Self Belays provide the operator more control and lower the possibility of clipping mistakes.
Lowering maintenance outlays
There are several other kinds of auto belays, but the TRUBLUE is without a doubt the most popular one today with over 40,000 units sold and over 2 billion descents.
TRUBLUE Auto Belays feature a proprietary magnetic braking system as opposed to other auto belays, which drop climbers back to the ground using brake pads (link: https://headrushtech.com/about/our-technology). This system has a number of benefits. The frictionless method of magnetic braking is particularly noteworthy since it enables extremely large cycle counts without compromising performance.
Additionally certified to guard against dynamic loading are TRUBLUEs. Alternatively, jumping No matter how many times you ask children not to jump in an Family Entertainment Center, they will eventually become excited and do so. With magnetic braking, even when someone leaps, the drop remains smooth and steady and doesn’t harm the equipment. This rapid movement is particularly hard on brake pads.
Made to last
TRUBLUE has a very extended lifespan due to the decreased wear on internal components. The vast majority of first generation TRUBLUE Auto Belays are still in use today more than ten years after they were initially introduced to the climbing community.
The newly launched TRUBLUE iQ Series was created to maintain the same, friction-free magnetic braking technology while being even more robust and long-lasting than the original.
Vertical Auto Belay systems
Grow your climbing community by providing more access to more routes for more climbers.
Auto Belay makes climbing simple and approachable, turning first-time users into return customers. TRUBLUE Auto Belays are engineered to minimize maintenance and are built to last. Our patented magnetic braking system, delivers the smoothest user experience, the highest level of reliability, and dramatically reduces device downtime.
Additional expert Information regarding Auto Belay technology and advantages
Interested to read more about the Auto Belay technology and expert opinions?
- Comparison of Auto Belay’s: what’s new in the TRUBLUE iQ series
- Using Technology to Make Your Climbing Gym Accessible and Inclusive
- TRUBLUE iQ+ Launch – First Catch and Hold Auto Belay
- Next Generation Auto Belay – TRUBLUE iQ
- Every modern climbing gym should have these 5 features
- Everything You Need to Know about Buying Auto Belays
- Auto Belay Safety Measures
- Catch-and-Hold: What is it and how does it work?
- Leading the Way in profitable and safe climbing
- Creating Value for Customers by Using an Auto Belay
- TRUBLUE iQ+ World’s first catch-and-hold auto belay
- Drive Revenue and Customer Satisfaction with Auto Belays
- 7 Ways Magnetic Braking Is Better Than Friction
- No Belayer Necessary: Understanding Auto belays
- Competitive Advantage of an Auto Belay
- 6 reasons auto belays are excellent training tools for rock climbing
- Auto-Belay and hands-free climbing challenges
- Why using Auto Belays Boosts your Business
- The Science of Eddy Current Magnetic Braking