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Feature Article - April 2008

Scaling New Heights

Harness the Popularity of Climbing to Take Your Facility to the Top

By Kelli Anderson


Say the word "climber" and for many of us a thrill-seeking renegade comes to mind. However, a more accurate picture these days bears little resemblance to the one of 20 years ago.

"I think originally it was a tiny community," said Natasha Fischer, head rock-climbing guide for High Country Outfitters in Atlanta, Ga. "Now the client is the 9-year-old boy scout to the 50-year-old woman who read about it in a magazine."

No matter the purpose—whether for serious climbers, for those seeking out its social and recreational component, or for those who've discovered its great application as a fitness tool—climbing is pan-demographic, reaching enthusiasts from male to female, young to old and all ethnicities.

"The population has changed," Fischer observed. "And they can bring in revenue."