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How much is too much for your climbing gym?


Original Post
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460

Rates are going up my friends. Where do ya draw the line?

Cron · · Kittery, ME · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 55

Depends on the gym. I’m willing to pay a little more for quality. New holds and a regular route rotation go a long way.

Edit: my partner and I pay 100/month for a couples membership. It’s the only gym in a city of 900,000. I feel that it’s reasonable. 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
Cron wrote: Depends on the gym. I’m willing to pay a little more for quality. New holds and a regular route rotation go a long way. 

How much for your current gym?

Gabe Schwartz · · Hope Valley · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 0

I have access to two gyms.  One of them is much nicer than the other, with a day pass of $18 if you have your own gear.  The other is $16 for a day pass, BUT also has many deals to lower that number including discounts if you buy multiple passes at once as well as a deal every month.  I usually pay about $12 per visit.  The nicer gym has no such discounts.  I bounce between the two for variety, but I think if the nicer gym was $20, I would almost never go there.

~ Gabe

Greg Koeppen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

70 per month for my current gym as a single, and 100 with spouse/roommate.  I think if it went above and beyond $125 I would draw the line.

amarius · · Nowhere, OK · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 20

Climbed at MetroRock Brooklyn a few weeks ago, day pass was 30USD.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030

Obviously depends on where you live. NYC price tag in Cleveland probably wouldn’t fly, no matter how nice a facility.

But ultimately it is a monopoly-type situation in most places. And gyms know their market. So they pick the “people will grumble, but they will pay” number.   I’ll know the draw-the-line number when I see it.

Carolina · · Farmington, NC · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 75

Its all too much for plastic.

And.. apparently bad air quality.

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/116252136/air-quality-in-climbing-gyms

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

After it got above $12 for a day pass I completely tuned out. It's gone up to $19 for a day pass. Even a punch card only gets it down to $17.50. I'm pretty much done with indoor gyms now.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35
Tim Stich wrote: After it got above $12 for a day pass I completely tuned out. It's gone up to $19 for a day pass. Even a punch card only gets it down to $17.50. I'm pretty much done with indoor gyms now.

It's extremely frustrating. The building it's in has limits, no matter how much they remodel. It will never be on par with ET or Movement, even though the prices are. Price + poor routesetting, I manage 5-6 trips a year now.


I'd happily pay that for a better wall.
Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

I know. The remodeling compels the price increases and the total overall setup for longer routes hasn't changed much. A lot of remodeling is on areas I don't even use. But whatever. It's a business and they appear to be doing well. I just don't make that much coin, so to hell with it.

Lena chita · · OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 1,030
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:

It's extremely frustrating. The building it's in has limits, no matter how much they remodel. It will never be on par with ET or Movement, even though the prices are. Price + poor routesetting, I manage 5-6 trips a year now.


I'd happily pay that for a better wall.

The routesetting for me is the single biggest determinant. Followed by conditions (and I have a bare minimum requirement of air conditioning in summer).

I don’t care about sauna, weight room, yoga classes, “networking space”, or snack machines. Given choice, I would never pay premium for that. But I would pay for better routesetting and working air conditioning in summer. 
Justin B · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Aug 2018 · Points: 10

69/month per person (with spouse)... ET Golden, CO

Worth it tho. Good route setting + air conditioning. Includes gym, yoga, some classes, and access to their second location.

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,476

It's funny, but even bouldering gyms are not cheap these days. I have one a block from my apartment and it's $13 for a day pass. I just can't get that interested in bouldering to pay that. But I have to do something. The performance hit for not doing gym is severe over the years. I can barely do routes I used to have wired now. Ha ha. It's pathetic.

Jordan Duncan · · Norwalk, OH · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 48
Justin B wrote: 69 (with spouse)
YYYEEEAAAHHHH
Jared Chrysostom · · Charleston, SC · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 5

I have 3 choices - an outdoor wall for $12/day or $30/mo, an indoor bouldering gym for $15/day or $75/mo, and an indoor novelty-like mini boulder wall at a local outfitter for $4/day or $60/20 visits on a punch card.

Business hours are what kills gym climbing for me. In the summer I gladly pay the $30/mo at the outdoor wall, because they're open til sunset every day and I can go after work for a few hours. In the winter, they close at 5:00 and it's pretty much useless except for weekends. The mini boulder wall at the outfitter is usually where I end up if I just want to go up and down for an hour, but they close at 6:00 every day. I am slowly realizing that the only real winter option is to pay the $75/mo for 24-hour access at the bouldering gym. 

Brady3 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 15
Justin B wrote: 69/month (with spouse)... ET Golden, CO

$70 per person per month

I would be willing to give up access to some of the extra features for a lower price.  I'm never going to do yoga or use a weight room and I'd be fine paying extra if I did choose to take a class, but I probably never will.  I just want to climb.
Rock'n Jam'n gives its members a free pass for a friend each month so I have been going there slightly more frequently since I have two friends that are members.  I've heard of other gyms doing that also but not allowing the same friend to use the pass more than once.


I am also surprised at how many gyms are in the Denver metro area.  ET in Golden, the new ET by 285, 2 Rock'n Jam'n, Ubergrippen, Movement has 3 locations including Boulder, Evo in Louisville, The Spot?, Denver Bouldering Club?, I'm sure I'm missing some also.
Mike Knight · · Canton, Mi · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 50

Pay $568 a year. Thats after the annual 20% off sale they run every November ($710 normal price). I live in Michigan so its pretty much the only way i'm climbing year round unless I build a woody.
I wish they would be open earlier, the only complaint I have as others have said is the hours. Opening at 6AM would be preferred to the 3PM BS.

Nathan G · · Utah · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 10

The Front in Ogden/SLC is $75/mo for individuals or $119/mo for couples. After a year my wife and I decided the cost is too much. If it's nice in the spring/summer/fall we climb outside anyway. In the winter we ski. I do miss climbing in the winter, but considering that I can keep myself busy with skiing, it's not a huge problem. My wife just signed up for a $20/mo membership to Vasa Fitness so she can do group classes. The $20 membership made me realize how outrageous climbing gyms have gotten. 

Jake Jones · · Richmond, VA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 1,734

In general, I don't think that I'd pay more than $100 bucks a month for any gym (and that depends on a couple factors as well), but if you dig into the question a bit, I think it's too broad.  There are a myriad of factors to consider.  For example, there are 3 gyms in my town, all within 10 minutes of each other.  One has so/so setting with good terrain (when I say good terrain I mean tall walls and overhangs- the two best training terrains for me), but the routes don't get re-set on any kind of regular basis, and in one of them, it seems as though they've stopped giving a crap entirely because they don't even wash the holds when they come down and new routes get set.  Another has hit or miss setting, has ok amenities, and the terrain could be better.  The third has great consistent setting, the best amenities, but the terrain is lacking more than the other two especially with regard to wall height, which is a big thing for me because I don't use gym climbing as a means to an end in itself, but as a training tool for outdoor objectives.  They're all around $65 a month.

Demographics combined with what the gym offers seem to be the biggest factor in what gyms charge for memberships.  The nicer gyms to the north of me about 1.5 - 2 hours are more expensive, but people in that region tend to have higher incomes, and the gyms are bigger, nicer and have more amenities, but in my experience suffer from the same maladies as the smaller gyms, chiefly the lack of consistent route turnaround.  Those prices vary from around $75 to about $93 monthly.  For my favorite one, which I drive to visit a few times a year, if I lived close, I'd probably pay the $93 a month if I lived there, and chances are that if I had the salary to be able to afford to live in that area, the $93 monthly would probably be comparable to the $65 that I pay now- so when you say "too much" I think that's kind of relative.

The ability to freeze a membership can help with costs if you live in an area where you do most of your climbing outside during certain months.

So the real answer to the question for me is- it depends. If I had a gym near me that had tall walls, consistently good and rotated setting, a variety of training tools, a good free weight/machine gym, sauna, sound proof/isolated yoga studio, and ownership/leadership that is responsive and solicits feedback, I think I'd be willing to pay close to $100 a month for it, but all those criteria would have to be met on a consistent basis to keep getting my money.  Also, two things that I'd be willing to pay a premium for are the ability to freeze my membership for a nominal fee, and the ability to pay that cost month to month and be able to escape it without feeling I'm in an apartment lease and can't leave if I decide my must-haves aren't being met.

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145
Justin B wrote: 69/month (with spouse)... ET Golden, CO

Worth it tho. Good route setting + air conditioning. Includes gym, yoga, some classes, and access to their second location.

That must be per person unless you have some kind of special discount or a billing error. That’s the single person student rate - we pay $122 for a couple and have the discount from being long-time members. 

ET is worth the cost to me. They have great yoga classes which would cost $15-20 for a drop in at a yoga studio. Even if I’m not climbing indoors, I use the yoga and it’s worth the cost. We get 12 guest passes/year. The setting is good and they rotate on a decent schedule. My only complaint is the crowds. It just seems to get busier all the time. 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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