Sept 7th 2022

As you may be aware, our prices are set to rise in on the 12th of September. Firstly, we would like to say that this was not a decision made lightly, we have thought long and hard and put the rise off for as long as possible but unfortunately we have now reached a juncture where it cannot be put off any longer. We know it is a hard time for everyone with costs increasing across the board and we are truly sorry that access to climbing must be one of them.  We have done our best to keep the rise as low as possible by making cut-backs elsewhere, which may mean that you will occasionally have ask for lights to be turned on, there may be a little longer wait times at the desk and it may be worth bringing a warm jacket with you when we get into the winter months. This has, and will, allow us to keep the rises below the current rate of inflation in the UK.

To provide some context behind why we need for a price rise, below are a few of the challenges we are facing:

  1. Our rents are linked to inflation, and as these are one of our biggest costs the increases have a big impact on us. These have gone up for many of our sites.
  2. Like everyone, we too are suffering from the price rise in utilities but as we are a commercial business, we do not benefit from the domestic price cap and are currently facing increases of between 200-500% for some of our supplies.
  3. Over the years we have been striving to improve pay within our sector and to allow better training and career opportunities for all our staff. Ideally we want our staff to be paid an increase in real terms i.e. more than inflation, over the coming year.  However, to achieve this the business first needs to be profitable enough to keep up with the rise in costs.
  4. In addition to rent and rates our other inputs have also gone up making it harder to invest in new holds, volumes etc. (e.g. holds have increased in price by around 30% across the board, plywood has doubled etc.) However, we believe this is a critical area to keep spending in to make sure that we can offer the best climbing experience possible and maintain our share of the market.
  5. Finally, during covid and the months following we had to take out loans to keep our centres open and our staff paid as the leisure industry ceased to receive much support from the government early on. Our banks are beginning to put up their interest rates on this debt by 20% or more.

Although we have kept the price rises below inflation, we know that some of our customers may begin to be priced out of climbing. To help combat this we will be doing the following:

  1. Magic Time – we have been trialling this discounted entry time across all our Centres for the last few months and will be continuing to offer it over the winter months (for the times/days Magic Time applies at each Centre, please check the website.)
  2. Loyalty Card – we are introducing a loyalty scheme whereby for each single entry customers can accrue a stamp, once 10 stamps have been accrued they will receive one completely free entry (T&Cs apply, please familiarise yourself).  Although this will not be quite as large a discount as a 10 punch card it will help those that cannot afford the upfront cost of purchasing one.  It is also worth mentioning that stamps for the Loyalty Card can also be collected on Magic Time entry fees.
  3. Guest Passes on membership – customers with a prepaid annual or monthly recurring membership will now have one Guest Pass a month. This can only be used for someone new to our Northern Centres or someone who has not visited in over 2 years.

If you have any questions regarding the price increase or would like to discuss the rise further, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continuing support and hard work over what has been a difficult couple of years.

LCC North Management Team