Small business Spotlight: Philadelphia Rock Gyms
The active and adventurous nature of our community has always been one of the greatest aspects of Philadelphia. Luckily, there are endless options all over the city for Philadelphians to get their fix of exciting new experiences. We recently spent some time with the staff at Philadelphia Rock Gyms and got a taste of everything that this thrilling facility has to offer. Lauren Caporizo, veteran staff member and rock climbing enthusiast, gave us a run down on the mission and motivations of this dynamic organization.
For over 20 years, Philadelphia Rock Gyms has been offering a top-notch, indoor rock climbing experience. It all started when two dedicated rock climbers recognized the need for a premiere indoor climbing space within Philadelphia. They combined their efforts and opened a modest club in Oaks, PA., at first only gathering about 50 members. Eventually, the space came under new ownership, but the mission to serve the climbing community remained and the small community began to blossom. Philadelphia Rock Gyms has experienced consistent growth throughout its years of operation, and its membership has increased exponentially. Caporizo attributes this success to PRG’s focus on maintaining its presence as a refuge where climbers of all skill levels can participate comfortably.
Today, PRG has multiple locations, stationed in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia, Wyncote, PA and Coatesville, PA, as well as their original Oaks location. “What started as a humble spot for climbers in need of an indoor space during bad weather has grown into an all service facility for anyone that lives in the area,” states Caporizo proudly. She’s not alone in her excitement for PRG’s success – this enthusiasm resonates throughout the entire company, including her fellow staff members, so it came as no surprise to us that the level of devotion to the perfect customer experience was one of the staff’s most striking and impressive qualities. Caporizo explains, “We provide every service that you can imagine in relation to rock-climbing including lessons, memberships, after-school programs, birthday parties, summer camps, corporate events, field trips…anything you can think of, if it includes rock climbing, we can do it!” In addition to this impressive catalog of activities, PRG also hosts several competitions throughout the year, allowing climbers to showcase their skills while family and friends cheer them on in the background, and their 2 day screening of award winning outdoor films by Banff Mountain Film Festival is one of their most anticipated events. The Philadelphia Rock Gyms organization strives to keep the focus on community in all of their pursuits, and Caporizo assured us that their primary goal is to support “great climbing in a great community at an affordable rate.”
The customer- and community-driven business model of Philadelphia Rock Gyms stems from the staff’s overwhelming appreciation for Philadelphia’s culture. Caporizo explains that Philly is the perfect location for this organization because “residents do not focus on high end luxury and are very youthful and fitness focused, which is perfect because we want PRG to be an everyman gym.” Staff members are extremely welcoming and make sure to encourage and enthusiastically support first time climbers (including clumsy and non-athletic blog writers). They pride themselves on being reassuring and supportive of members in order to make sure that both beginner and advanced climbers have an enjoyable experience. Within minutes of interacting with any of the staff members, it becomes clear that they truly have fun performing their jobs and relish the opportunity to help to build a community with other passionate climbers. The entire staff showed a refreshing degree of heart and true dedication to helping their guests grow through the practice of rock climbing, referring to the sport in a manner that made it sound more like a spiritual practice than a recreational activity.
Not only does PRG do an excellent job of serving the climbing community, they are also dedicated to serving the Philadelphia community as a whole. The company participates in food drives for Philabundance, toy drives for Toys for Tots and have worked closely alongside the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance. As an organization, PRG utilizes ethical business practices in order to have a positive impact as they strive to build community and serve the City of Philadelphia and its residents in any way that they can. After Caporizo’s rundown of Philadelphia Rock Gym’s bright outlook for the future and after witnessing their genuine and altruistic practices, we couldn’t help but share her enthusiasm and hopeful optimism for the organizations success. We left the premises ignited by PRG’s continuous goal of inspiring people to try something new and accomplish what they didn’t think possible by, as Caporizo literally and metaphorically states, “reaching the top of the wall.”
Written by Patrick Kaisinger (Mike McCann Team Blogger Extraordinaire)
Mike McCann “The Real Estate Man & The Mike McCann Team
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach Realtors
530 Walnut Street Suite 260, Philadelphia, PA 19106
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