2020: Challenge, Change, and Adaptation.
In 2001, Adventura took a beating after 9/11. It took us 2 years to get our feet back under ourselves after that event. The impact of Covid19 is bigger. The economy for adventure parks, ziplines, and challenge courses has come to a complete stop. Businesses in our industry are designed to cope with seasonal changes, based on weather, but not viral pandemics.
There is a tremendous amount of talk in our industry about this. It is a global conversation with thousands of course operators reaching out to discuss options, share thoughts, and voice concerns. Manufacturers of our equipment; harnesses, ropes, helmets, etc., are all doing what they can to make recommendations on how to clean equipment and keep people safe. But in the end, it comes down to making choices at the leadership level.
How do we ensure people are safe from a virus? The honest answer is: we can’t.
Can we disinfect equipment after each use? Yes, but every time we do, it shortens the life-span of the equipment and reduces it’s effectiveness as a life-saving tool. As an example, if we disinfect a harness with a mixed solution suggested by the manufacturer, that harness can be cleaned in this manner 3 times. Then, it has to be retired. That is a $200 harness that can be used three times before it has to be retired due to the cleaning. An alternative would be to set aside used equipment for 7 days to allow for a natural disinfection process. The math here is rather depressing.
10 harnesses, used in the 9AM session, on Saturday, cannot be used again until the next Saturday. 10 more at 12PM, and 10 more at 3PM, and 6PM…. 40 harnesses for one day of operations equals 240 harnesses in a week. Then add fall protection lanyards (made of porous rope) and you need 240 of those, 240 helmets, you get the picture. We’d have to suddenly invest $32,000 just in harnesses to operate not to mention the other gear. It’s not a pretty picture.
As difficult as it is to say, we’ve decided to not re-open the course for the 2020 season.
Adventura offers a number of other options for team events. To learn more about those, please visit https://adventuraplay.com/
We will maintain the course and keep everything tidy until 2021, then take a look at opening for the season. Meanwhile, we’ll continue with all our non-climbing events and workshops.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this and if you have a group looking for morale events or genuine team building, please consider us.
Scott Chreist – Owner