Planet Rock Climbing Gym raising money for operating costs as closure passes 6 months

Posted at 5:10 AM, Sep 18, 2020

(WXYZ) — Planet Rock Climbing Gym, one of the oldest and largest gym in metro Detroit, is asking for the public's help to raise money as they have been closed for more than six months now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nick Cocciolone, the owner of Planet Rock, which has locations in Ann Arbor and Madison Heights, has started a GoFundMe to help with the monthly costs of running a climbing gym. Despite being closed, the costs are still significant, Cocciolone said.

"We minimized and conserved as much as possible, exhausting company and personal savings. We had some gear sales and expanded some classes, but we've borrowed and utilized everything the government and lenders have allowed for," a post on the GoFundMe reads.

Even when they are allowed to open, it will be at a reduced capacity.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer opened gyms earlier this month, climbing gyms were specifically mentioned as not being allowed to open.

According to Cocciolone, the money raised will provide a bridge between the closure and a point when the gym is stable on its own. He said monthly operating costs including rent, insurance, utilities and more total $68,000 for the two locations.

"While we are super excited to open at any capacity, the income generated at a reduced capacity will not cover those expenses plus the extra expenses necessary to open, such as staffing," he said. Funds given to our campaign will help keep the gyms operational for the next 3 months as we continue to navigate this extraordinary situation and return to a more stable income. We will keep you updated with our progress."