The interest group of Swiss climbing facilities (IG Kletteranlagen) calls for the climbing halls to be opened as soon as possible, as well as transparent regulations and fair compensation for the closed businesses. Opening in March is essential for many businesses to survive
Between October and December of last year, the climbing facilities had to close their doors by order of the authorities. The reason for this was a sharp increase in the number of corona cases. To protect public health, drastic protective measures and closings have proven to be inevitable.
The pandemic situation has been developing very favorably for several weeks now: the number of cases has been falling continuously, the hospitals are no longer at their limits and the vaccinations ensure increasing protection of the population groups most at risk. Meanwhile, the financial pressure on the climbing facilities, which have been closed for months, is rising beyond the pain threshold.
High fixed costs due to the large space
Two decisive factors pose additional serious problems for climbing facilities compared to other closed businesses or shops: On the one hand, climbing requires large rooms, which are associated with high investment costs. This means that despite short-time working allowances and any rent reductions, a considerable part of the fixed costs remain uncovered.
On the other hand, indoor climbing is highly seasonal; if the winter months cease to exist, there is no cushion for the upcoming deficit summer months. This means that the dry spell continues seamlessly after it opened in spring. Anyone who can stop bankruptcy in the summer will have used up all the reserves saved in the fall and will have difficulties in maintaining and developing the infrastructure in the long term.
Timid and poorly coordinated implementation of the hardship ordinance
What is currently complicating and additionally exacerbating the situation of the companies is the timid and poorly coordinated implementation of the hardship ordinance. Depending on the canton where they are located, climbing facilities are not entitled to hardship support because the federal government has actually promised contributions from the sport stabilization package for sport. How much, when, whether at all and under what conditions climbing facilities can apply for contributions from the hardship program or the sport stabilization package is therefore in the stars.
The climbing halls feel abandoned
In this difficult situation, the climbing facilities see themselves being left in the lurch by politicians: For the good of the population, the facilities had to close despite well-functioning protection concepts and no one wants to take responsibility for the resulting far-reaching consequences. If you want to prevent further damage, the climbing facilities urgently need uniform, fair and, above all, more extensive compensation models throughout Switzerland.
IG Kletteranlagen is convinced that with good protection concepts nothing would stand in the way of a responsible start of climbing. The distances can be kept well and wearing protective masks was already a matter of course in autumn. With a focus on the transmission of Covid-19 through aerosols, climbing systems also offer good conditions due to their generous space.
The IG Kletteranlagen demands an immediate opening
With an urgent appeal to the responsible politicians and offices, IG Kletteranlagen is calling for the climbing facilities to be opened immediately, also on behalf of our responsible customers.