Auto belays are proving to be good partners. Not just for climbers, but for climbing gyms, fitness clubs, recreation centers, camps, and colleges. A recent survey by TRUBLUE LLC, makers of the award-winning TRUBLUE auto belay, shows that auto belays are having a positive impact on both user participation and increased membership at a variety of climbing wall facilities. Both climbing and non-climbing focused facilities reported success with auto belays, with 44% of all respondents indicating an increase in participation and/or membership due to offering a TRUBLUE auto belay.
Among other remarkable survey findings: a 61% majority of respondents indicated that 50% or more of all climbing in their facilities is done on an auto belay, and a 62% majority of camps reported a decrease in climbing facility operating costs.
Auto Belay Impact on Participation, Expansion
No longer limited to climbing gyms, auto belays are seeing both increased use and unit expansion in non-climbing focused facilities, including family entertainment centers, fitness centers, recreation centers, and community centers such as YMCAs. In fact, participation and membership increases were greater in facilities that were not climbing focused – with 100% of Family Entertainment Centers, 75% of fitness centers, 71% of recreation centers, and 67% of YMCA facilities seeing an increase.
The increase in participation and membership is directly correlated to the number of units per facility, with 58% of facilities that saw an increase offering five or more auto belay stations. However, it only takes one auto belay to make the difference; 56% of facilities with just one unit also reported an increase.
“We had hoped and expected to see an increase in participation and membership with the use of auto belays,” said Candie Fisher, Marketing Director for TRUBLE Auto Belays. “What was most impressive from our survey response was seeing that auto belays are not only a good partner for climbers, but are proving to be a great business partner for all kinds of facilities that offer TRUBLUE – not just rock climbing focused gyms. Climbing gyms and a wide array of adventure and fitness facilities are seeing an opportunity to increase participation and safety while decreasing operating costs.”
Survey respondents indicated that safety was the primary reason for purchasing a TRUBLUE auto belay, with ease of installation and low maintenance being the other most important factors. While auto belays can raise questions about safety among users, auto belays are not governed by the same safety standards as other climbing equipment or fall arrest devices used in other industries. To alleviate and overcome safety concerns, TRUBLUE auto belays are designed, built, and tested to meet the same stringent safety standards required for fall arrest devices in other industries, while also meeting the following international criteria:
- American National Standard ANSI/ASSE Z359.4-2007 “Safety Requirements for Assisted-Rescue and Self-Rescue Systems, Subsystems and Components”
- Canadian Standard, CSA Z259.2.3-99 “Descent Control Devices”
- Australian and New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1891.3 1997 “Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – part 3: Fall arrest devices”
- European Union Directive BS EN 341 “Personal protection equipment against falls from a height – Descender devices”