active climbing

Active Climbing, located on Barber Street, reopened to members and punch card holders on June 1. (Culture Editor/Anna Thomas)

Active Climbing reopened its doors to climbers on June 1, just over a month after Gov. Brian Kemp gave Georgia gyms the go-ahead to reopen on April 24 under new COVID-19 safety protocols.

The climbing gym is currently in a “soft” opening, which means only members and punch card holders are allowed in, according to Active Climbing’s website. Memberships are still available for purchase to anyone who wants to climb, and prices can be compared on the gym’s website.

Active Climbing was closed for business for about 10 weeks. Throughout that time the gym didn’t generate any income since memberships and climbing passes are the gym’s only source of income, manager Ashlyn Mills said.

“One moment we were doing fine, and then all of a sudden it was just zero dollars in the door,” Mills said. “So all of us, as employees, we lost our jobs temporarily.”

With the help of the Paycheck Protection Program, a COVID-19 relief program through the U.S. Small Business Administration, Active Climbing was able to remodel and deep-clean prior to reopening, Mills said.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, the deep-cleaning process included sanitizing every climbing wall with a 30-day disinfectant spray and cleaning each climbing hold with acid and a pressure wash, Mills said. The walls will continue to be sprayed with the disinfectant for at least the next three months, she said.

“We had to figure out how to go about disinfecting in the best possible way,” Mills said. “It’s such a contact sport, everything that’s in there, it’s hands-on. They touch everything.”

Gym staff is required to wear masks, and climbers are asked to wear them as well, Mills said. Capacity is limited to 21 guests at a time, outside of staff members, and everyone is asked to distance themselves from others, she said.

In addition to the usual participant agreement new climbers are required to fill out, all climbers must now sign a new COVID-19 waiver acknowledging the contagious nature of the virus and their assumption of the risk of climbing in the facility.

Although the first several weeks of Active Climbing’s Summer Camp for kids were canceled due to COVID-19, sessions throughout the latter half of the summer are still open for registration. The requirement for climbers to wear masks will be decided closer to the start of camp, Mills said.

Active Climbing is operating under its normal hours of 3-9 p.m. on weekdays, noon-8 p.m. on Saturdays and 1:30-6:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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