Greg Vincze is the Staffing Manager and Membership Coordinator at Boulderz, which basically means he does it all! We sat down to ask Greg about his current role, how he got here, how he got into climbing and what the pandemic has meant for Boulderz.
Let’s start with the reopening. How did this recent reopening go?
This was our 3rd reopening, and I’d say we are getting good at it! For example, as soon as we knew we were closing we froze memberships right away. Back when we first closed in March 2020, mass membership freezing was not a feature of our membership system, so we had to delay and then go back and freeze memberships. By the time we did, some had already expired, so it was a hassle (but worth it!). Now it is a much smoother process.
The first shut down was March to July 2020, then November 2020 to the following July (2021). This one was only 27 days so it was also the shortest. And we made some great changes during this past shutdown, like creating a cool retail space at the front of the Etobicoke location.
How is it going now at Boulderz?
January is usually our busiest month and we were closed for the past two Januarys, so we are slowly ramping back up. Some people are not ready to come back yet, which we totally understand. But what has been really busy is our children’s programs. Kids and parents clearly need them! They used to fill up in 2 weeks, and now they are filled in one day. I’ve also noticed that the private lessons are much more popular. I’m booking about 5 times as many as before COVID.
How long have you been at Boulderz, and how did you get started climbing?
I’ve been here for just over 6 years. During college I worked at a high ropes course. In the off season I missed climbing (high ropes courses are very different than rock climbing but still a kind of climbing), and so I came to Boulderz to try out rock climbing. Then, funnily enough, when I was in Tobermory near the high ropes course, I ran into someone who worked at Boulderz! When I mentioned I’d be looking for a job soon once the season ended, they told me to apply at Boulderz. I’ve been here ever since!
I started off doing birthday parties and I’ve done almost every job: route setting, coaching, private lessons. This is a great asset in being Staffing Manager, as I’ve actually done most of the jobs! And I can still step in when needed to fill in for people. I also do a lot of the staff training. I went to school for game programming and so I’m also pretty good with computers and technology, so I help out in the “IT department” too.
And finally, what do you like about working at Boulderz?
The best part is that I genuinely enjoy working with every person at Boulderz. There must be something special about the way we run the hiring process, because we seem to find such great people! I also really like my job, and I guess I’m pretty good at it. People say they would struggle with all of the different aspects of organizing the schedules and who is off when, but I really like putting all of the pieces together.
Lastly, I’d say I’m not too social in general but I enjoy meeting the people who come in to climb and chatting during the check in process or lessons. Everyone here loves climbing!