Updates

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The leadership team has been monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its spread since it first made news. Messages to the Triangle Rock Club community will be provided on this webpage.

June 23, 2020, 11:30am

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

For many years, we saw rock climbing, and particularly our gyms, as an inclusive community. We welcome everyone into our gym, regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, age, ability, status, or affiliation.

But we have missed the mark. While Triangle Rock Club is composed of members and climbers from every spectrum in our community, rock climbing is, and has been, a primarily white sport. Not excluding doesn’t mean you’re including.

Even as we made a statement earlier this month showing solidarity with those fighting for justice in our nation, we were not clear enough in our commitment to examine the biases and changes needed in our own gyms, as well as in the sport of rock climbing. And we know words mean little without action. So we ask that you let us try again.

The acts of injustice against George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black lives have ignited a human rights movement that demands each of us to examine our part in how we got here. Further, it challenges us to see our failures as a company while calling for us to actively work to redress them and stand with our Black and Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community.

We support an inclusive society, and we condemn racial injustice. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in the fight against systematic racism, inequity, and the historic oppression of the Black community. Black Lives Matter.

We also know that statements like these don’t matter without sustained and meaningful action. Over the past weeks, our senior leadership team has been discussing steps we can take to support the broader BIPOC community:

(1) We are pursuing DEI initiatives as part of our reopening. We will be working with a DEI consulting group to help ensure that we’re taking the right next steps in ensuring that our overall strategy is fair and inclusive.

(2) We are working to further develop our existing community partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of Durham, We Rise RVA, The North Face Global Day of Climbing, and local YMCAs. Partnering with these organizations has helped reduce the financial constraints that would otherwise prevent underserved children from climbing.

(3) We are working to develop BIPOC-specific programming through meetups and events to ensure that our gyms represent and serve everyone in our community. We will have tangible programs supported by the existing community to help facilitate networking and lasting connections within the broader TRC community.

(4) We are pursuing staff training options for both full-time and part-time staff. This is both a near and long-term priority as a number of our staff are part-time.

This list is just the start. We will share additional concrete, company-wide actions in member newsletters as we take them. We’re committed to doing the work.

We know this is a difficult time for everyone–further complicated by the challenges of our four NC locations being closed to members. However, it brings us hope to see people from all walks of life showing up and demanding collective action against systematic injustices.

We are grateful for those who have communicated with us to challenge us to do better. We continue to welcome your thoughts and ideas as we strive to be a community that includes and empowers everyone.


May 22, 2020, 2pm

Phase 2 Update

Dear TRC Community,

I hope this email finds you safe and well. I am writing to update you all with our latest thoughts as we look ahead to re-opening our facilities under the guidance of state and local authorities.

As you may have heard, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina will move to Phase Two today, Friday, May 22nd. While we had hoped that gyms would be included in Phase Two openings, officials believe we need more time before that can happen. Safety is always our top priority, and so we look forward to opening at the appropriate time. This newest Executive Order runs until June 26th, and that is the new date that we are targeting for reopening the North Carolina TRC locations for indoor climbing, fitness, and yoga activities.

What does this mean for us, operationally, and for you? Based on this new guidance from state and local authorities, some aspects of our business will remain closed, while other elements may reopen.

What does this mean for your membership billing? Membership billing will continue to be suspended while we are closed. You will not be billed on June 1st unless you have opted in for billing during our closure. Members will be billed regular dues once we re-open. If you have not opted in for billing during our closure, your first bill when we reopen will include a prorated credit for the time we were closed in March. If you are able and willing to opt in for June 1st billing and/or forego your March credit you may do so here. We cannot say enough how much we appreciate your support!

Lastly, please know that our entire team is eager to welcome everyone back when health care experts believe it is safe to do so. Our routesetters have been hard at work setting hundreds of, safely-spaced, routes and boulders across the locations. Our fitness and yoga instructors are retooling their curricula to accommodate some limited in-person classes for our anticipated reopening. Our team is so grateful for your support over the last two months. It has meant everything to us – thank you for helping keep the stoke alive. We are eager to see you all with pumped forearms, gnarly heel hooks, exhausted abs, wobbly handstands, and sun salutations.

Community has never been more important, and it is the spirit of this community that is lifting us up as we prepare for the day we can see you again. Once more, thank you! Please reach out to me if you have any questions. We’re committed to serving you all as safely as we can in the limited capacity that is permitted during this time. I wish you and your families the best as we all continue to navigate the difficulties arising from this pandemic.

Stay strong,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations
Triangle Rock Club


April 28, 2020, 5pm

PPP & Opt-In Update

I hope this message finds you safe and well during these stressful days.

It’s important to us to share with you as we work to preserve our great climbing community and gyms. To that end, we want to give you an update on our loan status with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We are relieved to report that TRC recently secured eight weeks of payroll funding assistance through the PPP. This loan will help us to extend some employees’ pay, even if the facility is not currently open, and portions of it may be forgivable. While this is very good news and we are very grateful for the PPP, we continue to wish for the day when we can bring everyone back. In the meantime, our team is working on a plan to invite some part-time staff back to active status for the next eight weeks, and we will use the time to finish facility projects during this temporary closure.

As with most, if not all, of you, we are still under a stay-at-home order, and we do not know when we will re-open. Members will be the first to know when we have more information. When we do reopen, we will have a thoroughly-cleaned facility with freshly-set, and, of course, properly spaced, routes for you to enjoy. We are actively working on strategies for operating our facilities with respect to public health and social distancing. We are collaborating with industry peers, consulting research from international climbing gym operators, re-thinking our customer check-in procedures, procuring more cleaning supplies, and making updates to our operating standards. Risk management is a part of our DNA as climbers. Please rest assured that our top concern continues to be keeping our community safe.

Since we do not have a defined re-opening date, we’d like to touch base on our Opt-In Campaign. As you know, we paused membership billing during our temporary closure; however, we continue to offer members the option to contribute their dues (or any amount of their choosing) to support the expenses necessary to keep TRC financially solvent. We have been blown away by your support, whether it be financial or a much-appreciated message to the team.

We’ll run our membership billing on May 1st. If you’d like to join the Opt-In Campaign, please sign up here by midnight on Thursday, April 30th.

Thank you for supporting our staff and business during these difficult times. Every day we witness the sport of climbing foster connections, and we believe TRC’s distinctiveness lies in an incredible community built on that strength. I am grateful each day to be a part of our community and look forward to climbing with you all soon.

Take care and stay safe,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations
Triangle Rock Club


April 9, 2020, 5pm

Company Updates & Upcoming Events

Dear TRC Community,

We wanted to bring you up to speed on the latest developments on our efforts to protect our team and our business.

We all know this crisis has been difficult for many people and businesses. We’re humbled by the support from so many members who opted in to continue paying dues. This support helped us provide a full payroll for all of our employees through April 3rd. We are, however, still financially constrained as we navigate this extended closure. As we noted when this began, we want to help as many of our employees as we can for as long as we can. So it was particularly difficult last week, when we had to notify the majority of our part-time staff that they are furloughed for now.

We are working to get relief by way of a forgivable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). If and when that loan is approved, it will help us provide compensation to many of our part-time and all of our full-time team for a period of eight weeks. We remain hopeful. In the meantime, the recently passed unemployment benefits package may provide more financial benefit to some TRC part-time staff than their TRC pay. This information did not make the furlough decision easier, but it lifts some weight off of our hearts.

The PPP loan will also cover a portion of our operating expenses for eight weeks. While this is good news, it’s yet to be determined when we’ll be able to open again. We’re working hard to ensure that we’re being as fiscally responsible as possible during our temporary closure. We’ve secured temporary payment relief from the majority of our financing partners. The ownership team has cut their pay by two-thirds. With careful management, we’re confident that we can weather this storm as long as it may last.

We are humbled that over 1,600 of our members chose to continue monthly dues during our temporary closure. Your collective act of generosity fuels our fire to make sure that you have the same climbing community to come back to when this is over, in both a motivational and a real financial sense. Your Opt-In Campaign contributions are going toward payroll and other operational expenses we are unable to suspend. We are buoyed by this community’s ability to come together to support each other, even when our physical ability to gather is no longer an option. Thank you. We’re going to throw one awesome party when this is all over!

Please know that we are hard at work making sure that our community stays connected and healthy while practicing social distancing. To that end, we’ve launched a live stream channel, Triangle Rock Club Live. Here, we’re hosting a variety of free programming open to everyone, not just TRC members. You can find fitness and yoga classes, climbing-focused workouts, Q&As from trainers, yogis, and coaches, and even a Friday night talk show for the climbing community, “Paul’s Garage Live.” Find our schedule, tune in to streaming content for a community experience, or browse the archive to watch previously-recorded content.

Lastly, we’re also pleased to report that we’re able to bring members a complimentary at-home film screening. No Man’s Land Film Festival is an international adventure film festival that seeks to “undefine feminine.” We’re thrilled to partner with No Man’s Land to offer a free online film screening for our members on Friday, April 17th, which contains films from 2015 through their current tour. We’ll be sending you a link and a password that will be active on Friday, April 17th only, and we’re asking that you not share this password outside of the TRC membership community. Thank you in advance for helping protect this small film festival.

Again, we’re so grateful for your support. Thanks for sticking with us. We can’t wait to see you soon. In the meantime, we’ll see you online, sweating it out with one of our dedicated fitness or yoga instructors.

Kindly,

Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations
Triangle Rock Club


March 24, 2020, 3:30pm

Opt In & Company Updates

Dear TRC Community,

As the widespread impacts of COVID-19 unfold, we recognize that our opening will be delayed past our original assessment date of April 1st. Given the overwhelming need to help flatten the curve and recent State of Emergency declarations in North Carolina and Virginia, all Triangle Rock Club locations will remain closed through April 30th. We will continue to reassess over the coming weeks, and we will keep you updated. As this pandemic adds great stress on the local community, our employees, and company, we want to be transparent about the financial state of the company and our priorities:

Staff Pay – All staff, including all of our part-time staff, will be paid regularly for our April 3rd payroll run. We are committed to taking care of as many as we can, as well as we can, for as long as we can. In compliance with Wake County’s Emergency Restrictions, we’ve suspended all staff from entering our buildings. Many of our full-time and part-time staff are working remotely to continue supporting the broader TRC community. We have allocated 100% of the funds from the Opt-In Campaign to assist in covering some of this initial payroll. We sincerely appreciate your generosity in helping make this happen!

We are hopeful that the proposed CARES Act legislation in Congress will help us continue paying for the majority of our workforce during this closure. We employ over 350 employees and simply do not have sufficient resources to extend payroll through April. However, our staff is incredibly important to us, and we’re doing everything we can do to support them. If and when Congress acts, we’ll circle back with you on the impacts to our ability to take care of our team. We have announced to all of our part-time staff that they may be furloughed in April depending on details within the CARES Act.

Finance Update – Because we’re largely a membership-based business and bill monthly, we generally do not keep large amounts of cash reserves. With our billing cycle completely disrupted, our only crisis-mitigation choice is to minimize cash outlays. We’re working with all of our lending partners to defer loan payments in an effort to conserve as much cash as possible. Funds earmarked for Durham Phase II have been reallocated to support our baseline expenses and operating costs. Looking ahead, all additional funds contributed to the Opt-In Campaign will help support the operating expenses absolutely necessary to keep TRC financially solvent.

We will be using every available option and resource to maneuver through this storm. Our members have loyally supported our business and employees over the years. We will see this through, and we will get back to climbing beside one another when this blows over. We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, and all of us will be impacted by this global crisis in a myriad of ways. We know some of you are also fighting for the survival of your own family, health, and livelihood—our thoughts are with you.

If you are in a position to continue supporting us, please consider one of the options below.

In the coming days, you will hear from us personally to check in and catch up. We’ll get through this together.

Kindly,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations


March 17, 2020, 2:30pm

Community Matters

Dear Triangle Rock Club Community,

We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received via social media, phone calls, and emails since we announced our temporary closure. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. This is a difficult time for everyone. As you know, this global pandemic will have a significant impact on all businesses, large and small—but especially small.

Many of you responded asking about staff compensation during our temporary closure. Our commitment to employees is to take care of as many as we can, as well as we can and for as long as we can. We will weather this storm together. This closure has provided us with a unique opportunity to tackle a number of facility improvements, and we are currently taking inventory of key projects for our staff to tackle while we are closed to the public. We are freeing up as many resources as we can to make this happen.

Membership dues account for the majority of our overall revenue. We have had some incredibly generous offers from members to opt in to continue paying their monthly membership dues to support staff compensation during the closure. This gesture was completely unexpected and is a truly awe-inspiring testament to the strength of our community. While it’s not our expectation for anyone to opt in, we are providing you the option to help support our staff here. Thank you, thank you. For members who choose this option, we’ll be crediting you with two additional non-expiring guest passes. Be assured that 100% of your full dues will go directly to paying our staff who are working on tasks and projects that continue to move Triangle Rock Club forward.

Many small businesses are asking for patrons to buy gift cards. This is an action that can help keep companies afloat, since it provides the business cash now for services to be redeemed later. We also offer online purchasing for gift cards that can be used toward membership dues, classes and programs, climbing gear, and more. If you’d like to buy a gift card, please click here.

During our temporary closure, we’re working on ways to make sure that our community stays connected and healthy. Starting on Wednesday, March 18th, we will begin our schedule of livestream fitness and yoga classes via Facebook Live. Anyone can access these classes, not just our members. Join in and keep the stoke alive! We’re still developing the structure of this free online fitness and yoga class service…and we’re forging ahead! See you online for our first yoga class with Fitness Coordinator Mary Ketterhagen tomorrow at 9am on our Facebook page.

We understand this is a challenging time for everyone. We’ve always seen adversity as an opportunity to reveal our character, both personally and corporately. Our community has revealed its character to be steadfast. Thank you all for your efforts and care for each other during this time of heightened anxiety. By sticking together, six feet apart, we feel confident that we’re going to be able to weather the storm. We will come through this together.

Warmly,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations


March 15, 2020, 12:00PM

Temporary Gym Closures

Dear Triangle Rock Club Community,

We take great pride in our climbing and fitness community, which provides connections, camaraderie, and support. Although these qualities are among Triangle Rock Club’s greatest strengths, we also recognize that these are extraordinary times that require exceptional measures to deal with a health risk that affects us all.

We are following guidance from the CDC, local authorities, and the broader business community. Based on our desire to protect the health and well-being of our community from COVID-19, we have come to the difficult decision to temporarily close all of our locations effective Monday, March 16th, until Wednesday, April 1st. We will be actively reviewing the situation to determine when we may open again.

This means that beginning on Monday, March 16th, we are suspending all operations and scheduled programming. If you have signed up for a paid class or event in March, you will hear directly from local staff regarding specific rescheduling and/or refunding. Please be aware that we’re experiencing a high volume of requests and inquiries. We’ll continue to respond as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.

We already have taken measures to step up the cleaning of our gyms over the past few weeks. Please be aware that before re-opening, we will have conducted a deep and thorough cleaning.

Members, we will be issuing a prorated credit starting on March 16th for the days that we are closed. The credit will appear during the next billing cycle when facilities are open. Prepaid members, your membership end date will be adjusted accordingly.

Any changes to our policies will be communicated via email and this webpage.

We recognize that these steps may create challenges for our community, and we ask for your understanding as we respond to this unprecedented public health issue. We will keep in touch with you every step of the way.

Thank you for your support.

Best,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations

If you need to contact your local gym:


March 13, 2020, 5:00PM

Message to Camp Parents

Hello Camp Parents,

With concerns about COVID-19 accelerating quickly, we are monitoring the situation closely. I wanted to write to let you know that next week’s camp (beginning March 16) is still on.

The health and safety of our staff, members, and participants is paramount. Please be aware that we are taking preventative steps at all our facilities across North Carolina and Virginia as outlined in previous messages below.

Please help us keep everyone safe by not visiting the gym if you or your child are not feeling well. Sick children are not allowed to attend programming. If a child becomes sick during the day, the child must be promptly picked up by a parent.

Also, we are encouraging youth participants to get into a hand washing habit. This means that we will be asking youth participants to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating. Here’s a link to an article about why washing one’s hands with common soap is such a strong defense against viruses.

You may choose to reschedule your child’s camp. Refunds are available if you decide to cancel. Please email me at mikayla@trianglerockclub.com for rescheduling or refunds.

We have been asked about the conditions under which Triangle Rock Club youth programming would suspend activities. If local schools close, TRC will take protocols offered by the Department of Education and other municipal authorities. We will continue to monitor the situation, and if there is a change we will address it as necessary. Our goal is to communicate proactively and always look after the best interest of camp families and staff.

Our priority is to always protect the physical safety of everyone who passes through our doors. Thank you for partnering with us to help keep our members, customers, and staff safe. Most importantly, thank you for your resilience and support for each other during these tense moments.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this by emailing me at mikayla@trianglerockclub.com.

Best,
Mikayla Kusuda
Community Coordinator
Triangle Rock Club


March 13, 2020, 3:30PM

Message to the Triangle Rock Club Community

Hello everyone,

We will be operating differently as we take steps to protect against COVID-19. Below, we have outlined some of the changes you can expect in our operating policies and procedures. We will continue to monitor the situation, and if there is a change we will address it as necessary.

Our priorities are:

We are taking preventative steps at all our facilities across North Carolina and Virginia, including:

Please visit the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website for more updates on COVID-19.

To ensure that we can address everyone’s needs, especially those of the most vulnerable among us, we need every single person to help keep our community safe. Thank you for your cooperation. Please let me know if you have any questions about this by emailing me at mike@trianglerockclub.com.

Best,
Mike St. Laurent
Director of Operations
Triangle Rock Club


March 9, 2020, 2:08PM

Message To Members

Hello everyone,

We have had a few questions come in about Triangle Rock Club’s response to the coronavirus that is currently impacting several countries, including a couple of cases in North Carolina. Please know that we are keeping an eye on this. The health and safety of our staff, members, and participants remains our top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation, and if there is a change we will address it as necessary.

We are taking preventative steps at all our facilities across North Carolina and Virginia, including:

Lastly, please know that we power-wash holds on a regular basis as a part of our ongoing setting schedule. As this is also flu season, please remember that you should avoid Triangle Rock Club if you don’t feel well. Also please follow the CDC guidelines for everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs.

Want more information on these guidelines, or on the coronavirus specifically? Your best resource for this is the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website.

Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions about this by emailing me at mike@trianglerockclub.com.

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