Great news! Clip ‘n Climb has opened a new flagship facility in July 2017!
Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth showcases every last tool and Challenge developed by Clip ‘n Climb and is being run by the same amazing team that ran the former flagship facility in Exeter, UK: Ian Stocker and Laura Gemmel.
We have interviewed Laura for the occasion. Here is a taste of what it feels like, working at Clip ‘n Climb’s:
Laura, what can you tell us about your team? How did you choose the people who turn Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth into a fabulous place everyday?
‘Ian [Stocker, Manager at Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth] has been involved with Clip ‘n Climb since its very first installation in Europe and myself shortly following. Over the years, we have gained a lot of knowledge in the product, customer experience, staff experience, safety and management.
One of the most important things we learnt from running the centre in Exeterwas the necessity of team work and supporting each other. If one part of the system doesn’t work it has a dramatic effect on everyone else.
Here at Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth we have 38 employees ranging from students to retirees, scout leaders and adventure enthusiasts! Our main focus when recruiting was to find the right personalities and create a great team spirit and atmosphere. We wanted to create an enjoyable and fun space to work which would help retain staff enthusiasm and in turn which would enhance the customer experience.’
What is so special about Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth?
‘From our experience and from training in various Clip ‘n Climb centres we have learnt each centre has its own unique personality and each has to respond and adapt to the area. One thing which is consistent is the love of the challenges no matter how small.
We are very fortunate to be located in a stunning building architecturally designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. It is currently the youngest listed building (built in 1991). Our climbing arena has the most challenges in Europe and also houses the biggest Big Cheese ever made (The Really Big Cheese as it is formally known as in the centre, our standard Big Cheese is now known as Petit Fromage! [‘small cheese’ in French]). We also have a wall of shorter challenges so the younger climbers and more nervous ones have a chance to reach the buttons at the top.
We also wanted to create a fresh and light environment for people to relax in the café. Our aim is to provide food that is local, simple and homemade. We have sourced all our products as locally as possible and make as much produce as we can onsite. Our parties have no minimum or maximum number. As Clip ‘n Climb is an environment which welcomes everyone we wanted our parties and catering to reflect this. You are also welcome to relax and enjoy the environment with no time limits leaving more time to enjoy the atmosphere.’
What has been your biggest surprise with Clip ‘n Climb?
‘At the beginning, we spent time responding and adapting to our market. We found Clip ‘n Climb was very popular for birthday parties as well as school groups, scout and guide groups. We found we had a lot of return customers, something which we weren’t anticipating. Everyone loved the challenges and would return again and again to develop their skills and better them. We found it wasn’t just children that were affected by this and the adults loved the competition! For this reason, we developed a scoring system and competition format which complemented the adult competitive nature and ran many team based competitions on event nights.
We are starting from the same position here in Plymouth learning and responding to our market. We already have a similar pattern of repeat customers coming back to use the challenge system. We have also had a lot of interest and visits from our military neighbours and are currently developing a challenge based training programme to complement and aid their training on their repeated visits.
As a showcase centre for Clip ‘n Climb we have all the latest products and technology as well the comprehensive range of climbs available. Yet, the development of the Clip ‘n Climb scoring system will really help to further and increase interest and popularity in everyone from children to adults who want to compete and train with themselves or as part of a team and we can’t wait to have it up and running!’
What do you like most about it?
‘While climbing you are challenged mentally and physically and the benefits of this are astonishing. Climbing not only improves stamina, muscle strength, flexibility and agility, it also helps develop concentration determination and problem solving skills. All of these lead to greater self-esteem, self-control and ability to rise to a challenge! We have so many customers young and old returning to challenge themselves and each other and overcome fears.
My favourite thing about Clip ‘n Climb is that it is such a welcoming environment and accessible to everyone. There is something for everyone to accomplish and this is a great confidence booster. From the most fearful to confident returners, seeing people’s confidence grow during a climbing session is the most rewarding experience. Clip ‘n Climb is the perfect facility to enable people to do this, it’s so perfect people don’t even realise how hard they are working and think they are just having fun!’