Climbing Walls for the Amusement Industry
By Megan Barros
Recently, I attended IAAPA as a representative for our sister company, Head Rush Technologies. If you don’t know already, IAAPA stands for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, and every year they hold the largest tradeshow in the amusement industry.
Head Rush Technologies went to present their adventure recreation equipment products, and while items like the quickJump and zipSTOP got a lot of attention, so did the TRUBLUE Auto Belay, and I found myself talking with a lot of people from the entertainment industry about climbing walls.
Very often, when people think of climbing walls, their perceptions are pretty narrow – they primarily think of climbing gyms, university recreation centers, YMCA’s, or a playground climbing wall. They think of fitness. It shouldn’t be overlooked, however, that climbing walls can be great features in the amusement industry as well.
Many questions I was asked at IAAPA about climbing walls had to do with how to make them profitable at a high volume amusement park or entertainment center. While each facility is different and climbing wall business plans will vary from place to place, one thing I can reassure you is that climbing walls can, indeed, be a profitable attraction with quick throughput.
One of the most useful tools in keeping your throughput high on your amusement park climbing wall is the TRUBLUE Auto Belay. Having an auto belay in place means a few things – first, less time is needed to clip in each participant, as there is no complicated knot tying and untying. Second, you can increase your ROI by decreasing staffing using an auto belay. For example, if you have three climbing lanes, and have only ropes, then you need three staff members to belay kids on each lane, and probably a fourth staff member to direct traffic flow from the line to the wall, help gear kids up, and answer any questions. With the TRUBLUE, you can cut the staff in half. You might still want to keep one person whose soul job is to help the upcoming participants in line put on their shoes and harnesses, but you will now only need one person watching the three climbing lanes instead of three people belaying. So now, you’ve increased your throughput and cut your staffing costs.
Judging by all the interest in the topic I heard at IAAPA, I’m expecting to see rapid growth of climbing walls being incorporated into amusement parks and entertainment centers in the near future. If you have questions about adding a climbing wall design to your facility, you know we’re always here to answer your questions. Give us a call at 800-447-0512, or an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can always stay up to date on all news Eldo and climbing walls by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.