A Letter from our CEO 10/23/20 - Sender One Climbing

Dear Sender One Community,

Thank you for all of your support during our second shutdown as best as you’ve been able--for sticking with us, and for returning.

It’s been over a month since SNA reopened again.  Each day and evening since then, the staff and I have seen more and more familiar faces (albeit under masks).  I am also just astounded by the number of LAX members that unfroze their memberships and have been making the drive to Orange County.  After months of living under a cloud of uncertainty, the progress in just the last few weeks has brought all of us hope and reminded us that our passion and efforts to help others discover and connect with climbing are meaningful.  We may just “run a climbing gym company,” but we see how important it is to have this space for all of you to get through the days ahead.

Over the past few weeks, we have listened to you and--within the constraints placed on us by public health regulations--slowly expanded our capacity, our hours, and welcomed back punch pass users.  We have also brought back on-demand instruction, private training, and aerial silks.  Before each step, we carefully evaluate its potential effects on the risk and safety to our community of members, customers, and staff.

If the coronavirus pandemic continues to remain in check, and hopefully improve, we will look at continuing to expand operations at SNA, such as: opening the SNA fitness center for member and punch pass users; welcoming back Sender City Annual Pass holders; and allowing day users and guest passes for members.  As a parent of two little girls, I dream of a time when birthdays are celebrated in Sender City once again--even though I know this may be far in the future.  

Many of you have also asked the staff and me about construction progress on Playa Vista, Westwood, and the SNA training center.  All of these projects are still happening, but any major movement is on hold until 2021.

Despite all of these hopeful and positive steps forward, each day I walk into one of our gyms, I remember what it was like not too long ago, and how different our pandemic-stricken present continues to be.  To continue to keep Sender One open, we all need to keep meeting our personal and social responsibilities to comply with health and safety guidelines the best we can--especially as we enter the flu season.  I also cannot avoid the fact that each day, when I review Sender One’s finances, I see the same reality--under current state and local guidelines, where SNA is allowed to open at only 10% capacity in the “red tier,” Sender One loses more money being open than it would if the gym remained closed.  We opened for our community and our staff and because of our core values--but the truth is Sender One needs help.

To that end, alongside 25 other California indoor climbing companies, Sender One has helped form the California Indoor Climbing Coalition (CICC).  The CICC’s first mission is to petition state health authorities and the Governor’s office to allow indoor climbing facilities to open in the “purple tier”.  Based on the science and data we have received from medical and public health professionals; and the experiences of literally hundreds of climbing facilities across the country that have been open the past 4 months, we know that with social distancing, vigilant mask-wearing, and the move to liquid chalk, indoor climbing facilities can meet state and local health guidelines.

I’m writing to ask for your help.  Over the next few days, the CICC and each of its member organizations will be contacting their state representatives and local legislators.  At the same time, each member organization will be asking their respective community of members and customers to email the Governor and California Public Health office.

Please join Sender One and the CICC in this effort.  Contact the governor’s office by sending them a letter from our website: www.ciccoalition.org.  Tell your friends who climb at other indoor climbing facilities to do the same.  We will get through this, together!  

With love and gratitude,

Alice Kao
Co-Founder, CEO

PS - We are thrilled to announce that a Covid-conscious Bouldering League is returning to Sender One SNA! More details can be found at www.sender.one/league.

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