It's possible that the United States (and the rest of the world) is entering into a second wave of the pandemic. It is very wise to consider the real possibility of State ordered closures occurring during the Holiday season, due largely to increased cases driven by personal social gatherings as people tire of the restrictions.
Closures are very likely to happen until we are successful in our mission.
Thinking about defying state order? Think on this.
The Federal Government's aid package was supposed to include a liability release, but until that package actually becomes a reality - we are sitting ducks. As climbing gym operators, assumption and mitigation of risk is the name of the game, but this pandemic is something else. Operating within the parameters of state and local guidance protects us from costly lawsuit resolutions years into the future.
Consider the scenario of someone contracting the virus, and becoming severely debilitated to the point of hospitalization and more. If they are insured, their insurer will look to recoup the costs and if it's possible they contracted it at your location, they will absolutely come for you. Even MORE SO if it happens to be an employee. Are your affairs in order? Operating against orders guiding public health leave you a sitting duck for lawsuits and closures. Waivers don't stop lawsuits - they may help you win one, but even the process and cost can drive your already wavering business fully out.
Point? This is a long game. Buckle up if you have a closure, but is it worth it?
What happens if we have to close again?
- Opt out for memberships - many of us have seen this work pretty well for maintaining cashflow, but it does hurt morale for those who didn't feel it was fair for us to make them ask to suspend or cancel memberships.
- Suspension of all memberships and opt in when you reopen - it's a kind thing to do, but it means leaving a lot of money on the table.
- Suspension of all memberships and immediate reactivation of memberships when you open - the best of both worlds.
Messaging to your visitors:
Many of you know you're dealing with a consumer confidence issue after the second closure, on top of the pandemic. You've also likely seen higher month-to-month, day pass, and punch pass sales than usual. Keep it up. Those things drive money to us and take less time to suspend and unsuspend memberships which can be a full time job with all this uncertainty. Decide your tactic above and be transparent. The more transparent you are, the better your community trust will be.
Try very hard to find positives in this:
Many of us have had employee turnover and improved our operations through this, this is no exception. The last closure, I personally told my staff to treat it as vacation because life was uncertain - take as many trips as you can and manage stress with lots of mental health days if you're still working.
The CICC is working for you so that this will not become a possibility, but we're also aware that some of you have still not reopened from the original closure, and we're also aware that some of you are close to another. Keep reaching out - every time we get feedback, we incorporate it - and we're here to help motivate you and help you solve problems. We're all growing through this. This is a short term problem at this point - we've got this - we've practice the moves, the crux is past us - we just can't get pumped at the final moves.