Threshold Climbing and Fitness in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, believes that anyone can climb. The gym offers 20,000 square feet of climbing space, including for bouldering, plus dedicated fitness and yoga rooms.
Climbing to new heights
In early March, Threshold Climbing and Fitness was at the top of its game. The gym was preparing to celebrate its third anniversary, and owners John and Sierra Tarkington had positioned themselves as leaders in the climbing industry.
A few weeks later, Threshold, like thousands of gyms across the globe, decided to close to keep members and staff healthy and safe. The Tarkingtons knew that they would reopen—the question was how.
The Tarkingtons started researching and mapping out the future of the gym even before they closed. Oklahoma wasn't one of the first states to close, so they knew what was coming. "We were diligent," Sierra said. "Whenever we had to close, we already had our different phases built out. So for us, it wasn't a huge shock."
The prep work they put in included ordering the supplies they would need to reopen, as well as mapping out different zones within the gym to comply with social distancing. Then once Threshold had to close, they began working on executing the plans they had built.
"We were able to think through a lot of those things—whether it was creating zones and then having those zones have a max capacity or making sure that before anyone entered the facility we followed local authorities and CDC guidelines," Sierra said.
The prep work paid off—the gym opened up again on May 1.
When the gym reopened, Threshold had a few new rules in place: you had to have your temperature checked before entering the facility, wear a face mask while in common areas, and they required reservations to climb. While there was some pushback about the new rules, overall, climbers were supportive.
"It is our business—we have the luxury of being able to make those calls," John said. "We're going to own it, and we're going to continue to try to do the best that we can."
"If you're confident in your process, the customer who's coming in is going to feel that confidence," Sierra added.
At first reservations—bookable online—were only available to members through their Mindbody accounts. Shortly after reopening, Threshold opened reservations to 30-Day trials, member-guest passes, punch pass users, and more recently, to the general public.
The system is working for Threshold due to the research and work put in while the gym was closed. "We had time to think through a lot of the details for opening back up," John said. "I feel like we've been fortunate."