We Are Reopening!! Indepth Information for All LCC Climbers – Updated 20th July

WE REOPEN 25TH JULY

This announcemnt was made on Friday 17th July 2020. We have recieved some great cusotmer feedback and updated this announemnt 20th July 2020.

This version supersedes the Newsletter sent to cusotmers on Friday 17th. A huge thanks for you input.

Hi Climbers!

We are incredibly excited to be reopening on the 25th July. We want to give you the confidence to return to climbing when you are ready by providing a covid secure climbing experience. This newsletter goes into in depth detail on this with the aim of covering all your questions and concerns. If you would like clarification on any points do get in touch by emailing membership@vauxwall.co.uk. Our booking system will go live on 20th July, details of this are included below. Thanks for reading and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Summary

  • All our 5 centres (VauxWest, VauxEast, HarroWall, CroyWall & RavensWall will open on Saturday 25th July at their normal opening times
  • CanaryWall will open start of August (keep an eye out for more information on our 6th Climbing Centre soon)
  • New booking system in place at VauxWest, VauxEast and RavensWall. Pre book to confirm space. This will go live on each independent website on Monday 20th July by 5pm
  • No booking required at HarroWall or CroyWall to go climbing
  • ALL Climbers MUST check in and check out to assist with any PHE Track & Trace efforts.
  • No instruction at any of our centres to begin with. We are hoping for an early August return for sessions
  • New Covid Secure procedures in place to minimise risk to you (our customers) & our staff

WHAT HAVE WE DONE DURING LOCKDOWN?

  • We maintained all 68 LCC staff and topped up furlough to 100% pay for March, April & May. – a huge thank you to those who continued billing with us and/or made donations of days and credit to help us continue to pay staff top ups to the furlough scheme
  • In June we asked the team to take a 10% pay cut only if they were able, in addition to sacrificing some annual leave. In July we matched the 90% pay.
  • We stayed in close contact with our members so they understood what was happening with their memberships
  • We have carefully reduced all other costs working with our landlords, partner companies, contractors and suppliers to support each other through these tumultuous. Thank you all for your support.
  • We continued with the Holds and Volumes orders placed in February staying optimistic and to support the companies who craft and supply our toys. This includes some fresh holds for all sites.
  • CanaryWall full set
    • VauxWall West – holds and volumes purchased for the extension
    • VauxWall East – a top up sets to add fresh shapes
    • CroyWall – fresh black holds to mix up the circuit style
    • RavensWall – anew yellow set to become an ‘off piste’ circuit and new Kids circuit
    • HarroWall – a top of colours to add fresh shapes
    • All sites – We are adding an additional circuit ‘V8+’ will be set soon.
  • We offered to pay freelance routes setters in full for cancelled work within March, April and May.
  • We worked actively with the Association of British Climbing Wall and UK Active to develop Covid Secure reopening plans for climbing centres.
  • We continued with the CanaryWall project & renovated the Cave Arch at VauxWall West and completed a plethora of maintenance tasks at all sites.

WHAT ARE WE DOING IN THE RUN UP TO OPENING?

  • We are preparing our centres and team to operate in a Covid Secure method
  • We are completing some route setting at all sites
  • We are supporting our team in their return to work
  • We have completed a Covid Risk Assessment and Updated Standard Operating Procedures and have presented this to the entire staff for a consultation period
  • We are staying in close contact with all our members
  • We are putting the finishing touches to our booking system that will be used at VauxWest, VauxEast & RavensWall
  • We have decided not to offer instructed sessions until the earliest 3rd August, when we bring these in they will operate in a limited Covid secure style prioritising those that need their session rebooking from the closed period.

THE BOOKING SYSTEM & HOW CAPACITIES WILL BE AFFECTED:

One of the main methods of being a Covid Secure Indoor Gym is reducing capacity to ensure social distancing is possible. The government have mandated allowing 9m2 of customer accessible floor space per person to ensure social distancing is possible. What his means for LCC London Centres:

CENTRES WITH BOOKING

We will have booking for all opening times at VauxWall East, West and RavensWall for a trial period of 25th July – 2nd August. CanaryWall is drafted to open 1st August and we will make booking for here live when this is confirmed.

At centres with booking we highly recommend you book in advance, if you walk in and a slot is available we will book you into it. You will be able to see the live capacity of the centre via a widget on our website so this could help inform your decision. We STRONGLY advise that you book a slot before you turn up as we do envisage those centres with booking systems to be full at peak times.

PRICING

For the most part our booked independent climbing sessions will match our pre-lockdown pricing.

A £1 booking fee will be applied to each ‘Member/Punch card holder’ booked session, this fee is there to ensure an incentive to use your booked sessions. To smooth this extra cost for our members and punch card holders we are allowing one free hot drink per person at any time during their visit.

If you ‘walk-in’ rather than ‘pre-book’ and there is an available slot you will not be charged the £1 fee. We can’t risk lots of slots being booked then having lots of ‘no shows’, hence the fee. If you ‘walk-in’ we encourage you to stick to the usual one free hot drink for members before 10am only.

An optional perk for our valued LCC recurring members only : you can opt to have your £1 fee’s tallied up and added as credit to your account on a monthly basis – this will automatically off set your future dues. – Please email membership@vauxwall.co.uk to specifically request this option. You will still get the hot drink at anytime perk because we love you.

The booking system will include a method of booking for all types of climbers and their various price points and discount agreements.

WHEN CAN I BOOK?

The first 9 days of available sessions will be available to book from Monday 20th July. The system will be live by 5pm and we will post on our social media feeds to let you know.
We will monitor our booking system and how the centres feel closely in order to adapt promptly if needed. We will announce when more slots are added via our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

HOW LONG CAN I CLIMB?

Booking slots will be 2 hours and we ask you to arrive climb and leave within this window. You will be able arrive up to 15 minutes before or after your booked start time. If the centre is not busy and the next slots are not booked we will be flexible with allowing people to stay longer.

You must check in and check out using your registration card barcode so that we can accurately monitor capacity as well as provide accurate information to PHE Track & Trace should we be required. If you have lost your card we can reissue it on your first visit back with us.

More detail on the booking system and terms and conditions will be available to view when booking goes live.

CENTRES WITHOUT BOOKING

HarroWall, as the UK’s laergest bouldering centre, has the capacity to house a small army of climbers while keeping socially distanced. CroyWall is an open plan centre in zone 5 which has been generally quieter than all our other centres since opening in January 2019. We are confident we will not need a booking system at either, but we will adapt quickly if we need to.
Pricing will be the same as before lockdown. We will be encouraging maximum three-hour visits during busy times at HarroWall and CroyWall but please feel free to talk to staff at each centre if you are near the end of your 3hrs.

You will need to check out so our Live counter is accurate. You will also be able to view this Counter on our website to give you the confidence to visit before you set off.

HOW CAN YOU HELP US TO MANAGE CAPACITIES?

The overheads of 6 London properties are huge and the various financial support we have gained will disappear soon after opening. We have maintained our 68 staff but without our previous income we will be operating at a considerable loss each month as we recover.
To help us we ask that:

  • Climb outside of peak times at VauxWall and RavensWall where possible or limit your peak visits to twice per week at our centres with booking in place.
  • Booking two peak slots per booked centre would allow you climbe frequently and vary your climbing.
  • Please use CroyWall and HarroWall instead of our other sites if you are able.
  • Please keep your visits to 2 hours at all our sites except HarroWall & CroyWall where we encourage a maximum of 3 hours.
  • If we have future short closures (up to 5 days) at one or more centres due to a track & trace incident, please be understanding when we do not automatically freeze memberships. Our other sites will still be in use.
  • Follow our Covid safety guidelines (displayed at all centres) to keep our centres Covid secure.

HOW WILL MY LCC CLIMBING EXPERIENCE BE DIFFERENT?

  • You must not come to the centre if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, please remain home and follow government guidance. You can cancel your booking with full refund if experiencing symptoms.
  • At centres with booking we strongly encourage you to book in advance.
  • Our bike racks are still available to use and we will increase capacity where practical.
  • On arrival you must check in. If there is a queue you must queue responsibly. There will be fast track check in and a queue indicated if you need a staff member
  • All centres are cashless
  • Fast Track: For pre-booked sessions you will be able to self-check in within 15 minutes of your start time with your registration card barcode at the dedicated check in scanner. There may still be a short queue for fast track.
  • Less Fast Track: If it’s your first time, you have used the ‘other tariff’ option when booking, you are late or require any additional service; shoe hire, membership, retail or café purchase please queue responsibility in the denoted place.
  • You must sanitize your hands at Check in. 
  • We encourage you to arrive in a face covering and wear one whenever you are being served to protect our team and one another.
  • Face coverings whilst climbing are optional
  • You will only be served from behind a Perspex screen – please do not duck round this.
  • Our team will be using an increased amount of PPE throughout their various roles.
  • You will need to sanitize your hands regularly during your session and as you exit. Sanitizer is provided around the centre.
  • Please arrive ready to climb where possible and bring minimal bags into the centre.
  • Hire Shoes will still be available but Hire chalk bags will not be.
  • We will temporarily not be selling any chalk products other than liquid chalk.
  • We strongly encourage you to use liquid chalk and will be selling at a reduced margin to help you switch.
  • Communal changing rooms will be closed (VauxWall West & East only) but individual cubicles will remain open with increased cleaning.
  • Lockers will be available to use as normal with increased cleaning.
  • Sprays and Blue Roll will be available should you wish to sterilise your own locker or changing cubicle.
  • Café furniture will be significantly reduced or removed entirely.
  • You will be responsible for remaining socially distant from others during your time on site.
  • Our café services will continue, initially we will only use compostable single use cups but we will decant drinks into your own keep cups.
  • Water fountains are bottle refill only – do not drink directly from fountains.
  • Gym areas will be fully open with all equipment but will have restricted capacities indicated on a poster close by.
  • Additional cleaning will be completed by the team but there will also be spray and blue roll for you to clean equipment before and after use.
  • All our showers are individual cubicles so pose a lower risk than communal showers. We will not be able to clean showers between uses and we encourage you not to use them. You may use them at your own marginally increased risk, there will be spray and cloth close by should you wish to sterilize the shower yourself.
  • Towel hire is temporarily suspended. You will need to bring you own towel if needed. We aim to get some low cost individually wrapped towels for you to purchase should you forget. We will bring back this important member perk as soon as we feel its appropirate.
  • Please leave promptly remembering to check out with your registration card barcode at the dedicated check out scanner.

WHAT ELSE ARE WE DOING TO KEEP OUR CENTRES TEAM AND YOU COVID SECURE?

  • We are extending VauxWall East weekdays opening hours from 12noon opening to 9am opening to spread climber out.
  • We have increased PPE across a variety of staff roles.
  • Our Team are split into Cohorts within each centre and restricted to only working at one centre. This means that should one cohort be compromised we he sufficient staff to keep the centres open.
  • We have robust extraction and air movement systems at all sites and will be running them all day to increase air turnover – a key reccomendation for being more covid secure.
  • We have introduced additional cleaning regimes
  • We have reviewed all systems that require prolonged staff/customer interaction and streamlined these significantly
  • We have completed a thorough Covid Risk Assessment and trained our team in its implementation
  • We are staying tuned to evolving government guidelines and the experience of climbing walls that have already opened.
  • We will adapt quickly to modifying or adding our booking system.
  • We will be open to your feedback on how we can improve our safety systems.

——–

We know that was a lot of information to take in but we wanted you to know that we are doing everything we can to have our centres ready for you when we reopen.

If you want to be kept in the loop, please sign up to our newsletter below:

Want to keep up to date with what is going on at our Climbing Walls? Signup to our newsletter below or let staff know at reception during your next visit

————

Subscribe to the LCC Climbing Centres Newsletter

* indicates required