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layton

what's up w/the PRG?

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Camilo

when you say it is rarely crowded makes me think you have never been to PRG have you?

PRG prices are no where near market.. that is the very reason people are dropping as fast as the noobs are signing up

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I've heard through the grapevine that someone (group) is starting just that. It will be basic, bouldering, some TR, wood panels, holds, etc. Almost like a co-op. If I find out more, I'll post it here. The best thing is it will be cheap!

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Camilo

when you say it is rarely crowded makes me think you have never been to PRG have you?

I go there 2-3 times a week. I've never had to wait for a climb. I know the bouldering area can get pretty packed, and the slab TR area can get crowded. Maybe it's because I usually get there around 9pm. Is it more crowded at other times? Also, I finally got around to getting my lead card, and I've never seen the lead routes even close to crowded. But then again, winter is coming up. . .

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I worked at PRG until two months ago. I will refrain from commenting, although I find this thread entertaining.

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I worked at PRG until two months ago. I will refrain from commenting, although I find this thread entertaining.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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Yeah, Gary is an old friend - sort of go back to hanging out during and after college days @20 years ago. Gary has all the traits I want to see in people who hang around me: smart, intellegent, easy going, nice, fun, and loyal. He's a great guy, but we drifted apart having business's and families to suck our time. I'm kind of too lazy and busy to keep involved socially with folks I like, so I don't see lots people I'd want to. My bad, I should call Gary up and say hi.

 

I was one of his first customers at the old old place on the sunset hyw 26 before he moved to SE, and tweaked my finger tendons good enough (bad enough) that I didn't understand it (ie, go to Squamish, with my fingers almost healed and jump out of the car and run up a 5.10d first thing, do lots and lots of pitches pain free - then come back and 15 min in the rock gym they're f*ed bad and in agony again) - so I stayed away to have healthy hands. Last year a couple of partners kept inviting me to work out at gyms they inhabited (Stoneworks and Milf-ville) so I tried it again, I really enjoyed myself.

 

Joesph H was talking about doing a gym this winter to stay in shape and I was thinking that was a good idea as he's good company and we can do the over 50 routes together (if your over 50 years old, hobble over there old man and pull the big holds) . But it is shocking and encouraging to see some kid walk straight out of the gym getting up hard stuff, and at 50 I need the exercise.

 

You sound like a reasonable person Thrill, wonder if you have discussed these gym issues with Gary at all?

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I'll second Will's comments. Either clam up, get out or put up and open a new gym. I think a low key coop in SE would be a great idea.

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thanks Bill,

It’s funny how outside of context people are so different. I actually do talk to Gary but he’s pretty bull headed when it comes to how he’s gonna run his business. I have talked to him and so have several others and really why should he change.. his system is working and he’s making money. All that is understandable. I can tell that when not in business mode Gary is probably a really good person. But sooner or later people get sick of being screwed over and will move on .. that is the pattern I see now. and the origin of this post. So no, “put up or shut up” is not the way to go here. The post was started asking what is up with PRG.

So that is exactly what we are talking about. And we have every right to bitch about it. improvement doesn’t come from everyone being nice, nice.

So anyhow Gary is loosing some long time customers, he’ll gain new ones, and then maybe he’ll lose them too. the fact remains that people have problems with the new PRG.

I’ve seen people bitch about local gear shops here only to have an owner or employee see how many people were saying negative things… and then change them. so maybe Gary will get word. Maybe not, who knows?

But if you don’t like something…. don’t ever put up or shut up… voice it.

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Thrill, you are exactly right. It's about people feeling like they are getting ripped off. But these are not new complaints. See this thread:

 

PRG Rant

 

I started that thread years ago, and spoke with Gary after someone called it to his attention. He was not happy about what I wrote (understandably so, I was slamming his business), but I had 10-15 regulars at the gym tell me they felt the same way and thanks for speaking out. Gary is a nice enough guy, we had a respectful conversation about it and I learned some things about the nuts and bolts of running a rock gym. I have no doubt that he is a stand up guy on a personal level.

 

But the bottom line is, when your customer feels like they are getting taken advantage of, or screwed over, you are courting disaster. I continued to train at the PRG when I lived there because the alternatives were either a pain to get to from SE (StoneWorks) or a pain to get to and more pricey (Club Sport). That is why I say someone should open their own gym. People have complained about the business practices for years and they haven't changed, the prices have gotten even further out of line with the market since they moved into the new building. So I'm not saying "put up or shut up", I'm saying to face the reality that things are not going to change so if you want something different you will have to find or build another gym.

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if you don’t like something…. don’t ever put up or shut up… voice it.

Thanks Thrill

 

I agree, in voicing it a person gains 1 more option. You can still move on/put up/shut up later if you can't effect change and want to do so, but at least you can say you did try, and who knows.........

 

Maybe Gary is turning into an old dawg like me, (this is what my wife says about me anyway) and you can't teach him new tricks.

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Is there a real demand there for all that yoga? Really, if they just put the weights and some cardio equipment in the yoga room I think it'd be just about worth the $67.

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B-rock there is a Bally's in vancouver that used to be another name... Anyhow it has the full on weights, yoga classes, treadmills, bikes, swimming pools, hot tubs, showers, lockers, saunas, rock wall, etc… and it was only $45 a month.

Having pools and stuff creates a big overhead.. having an oversized woody does not. Gary even advertise air-conditioning and air vents to keep the chalk dust down…. yet all summer didn’t you notice the sliding door up and yet it was still hot and humid?

I know it is the same rant over and over.. and it may not seem like things will change.. but things will. More people will drop out etc.. the gumbies that bought year memberships and never came back will expire and soon Gary will be forced to take notice where his customers have gone.

Positive change is much slower then negative.

 

Also the co-op thing is happening it’s just not advertised.

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I'll second Will's comments. Either clam up, get out or put up and open a new gym. I think a low key coop in SE would be a great idea.

 

Sorry, I don't agree. You say that folks who aren't completely happy with the PRG should either (1) keep it to themselves, (2) go climb somewhere else, or (3) open their own gym. First of all, I don't have the time, money or inclination to open my own gym. Second, sharing our concerns about what's going on at the PRG (high prices, lame routes, no swimming pool...) is a good way to let Gary know that maybe there's some stuff he should think about changing. In my business, I'd much prefer that my customers let me know when they had a problem rather than just keeping it to themselves, or going elsewhere. I hope Gary sees or hears about some of this stuff, and I hope that he recognizes it as an opportunity to improve things, rather than a bunch of malcontents whining.

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Sorry for the bad attitude, but I've been listening to people complain about this place since I moved to Oregon in '98. I can't tell if I'm more tired of the PRG itself or all the complainers complaining about it non-stop. Complaining hasn't improved the situation.

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As stated earlier Gary has been approached but sometimes it takes a while to actually see the magnitude of the issue. Sometimes people are thinking to themselves that things are lame and the read posts like this and get to chime in. the more people that do that the more of a big deal it may become to Gary. At first he may just thought that it was just a few punks and no big deal.

 

Winter… my only suggestion is that if you really hate hearing people bitch about PRG …. Then don’t click on a thread titled “what’s up with PRG?” unless of course you enjoy the torture.

wink.gif

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golly! i didn't know my post would ignite such topic.

I'll have to check out stoneworks after nov. I like the prg enough to get a 10 pass card after my membership expires.

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Thanks for all of the comments on the PRG. My name is Michael Lary, and I'm the Operations manager working with Gary at the new facility. Frankly, I don't spend much time on "cascadeclimbers.com" so it is not the best forum for me to address each of the issues. However, I welcome you all to call or email me with your questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments. You can contact me at 503.232.8310 or at mlary@portlandrockgym.com

 

I understand it can be frustrating when your concerns seem to go unheard, so I look forward to talking with both the familiar names that posted here and hopefully some new climbers that I yet to met.

 

Enjoy this great fall weather!

 

Michael Lary

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it is not the best forum for me to address each of the issues. However, I welcome you all to call or email me with your questions, concerns, complaints, or compliments.

 

Uhhh Hi Michael: First, welcome to the board. The previous discussion on this board shocked me, and I am glad you want to address the issues.

 

 

I already disagree with you. Like you, I'd love to see the PRG be the best place to climb in the world and Gary get rich. However:, what's wrong with an open forum? Best place for this discussion IMO. This is a climbing "community". I've climbed with a bunch of folks on this website (some pretty good climbers on here!) and short of getting around a campfire and hashing all this out, this website is the best we can do. (Thanks again Jon) And get Gary involved as well. He was an English major, he can correct my shitty spelling even if he had nothing else to contribute.

 

I'm not emailing you.

I'll start it off right here because I want to know if there's a 100 pussies just like me with identical issues. Talking to Joseph earlier, he had the discussion with Gary several times that he wanted jug routes on the overhanging walls to do laps on.

 

That reflected my viewpoint 100 percent. I love churning and burning to finish a workout up an overhanging 5.7 or so, just running up and down up and down some easy route where I know I won't get injured.

 

It works the muscles - and elimanates my big issue which has kept me away from gym climbing, IE, tweaking my little pussie tendons on my fingers due to attempting to carry a bit of a wide load up the vertical.

 

Thats my meager contribution. Your welcome! cool.gif

 

Money isn't the issue for me, health and time management are. You can put chalk dust in there as something I dislike in the gym as well. (am I just a whinner or what?)

 

Anyone else want to specify a way to better the PRG or is this just going to die out with angry sullen silence? (How about that for a metaphor or allegory or whatever the hell that literary blurb was! Check me out Ireno!).

 

 

I am definatly not the best person to detail what a gym should be as I have not traditionaly been a gym user.

 

But others here are.

 

Anyone? confused.gif

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it's true.. a "call me or email me" about the issue is like when you ask for a quote an a car and the salesman wants you to come down to his office to best discuss it..

most people dont play that game homie.

a web forum makes people brave. they chat with other climbers and vent the issues. if Gary reads it and takes it to mind great. I'm not afraid since I already have spoken face to face with Gary and have over heard others talking to Matt about the same issues. the prices are rediculous. the airconditioning was never used. yearly member should get more bang for the buck.. like free yoga for gods sake. a six month pass should be available. reserving an entire wall is outrageous since we all pay for the gym we should be able to use any portion of it. at the prices charged the ropes should not be in THAT bad of shape as they are. hours are stupid.. weekends should be longer not shorter.

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Hi Michael,

 

Welcome aboard as well.

 

I have to second Bill's comments relative to the appropriateness of the forum for discussing PRG issues. This is our community such as it is and it provides you and Gary with something most business owners spend a lot of money to acquire: a window into the marketplace. It may not always be a clear window, you may not always like what you see, and this window may not always look in on your full demographic; but it provides valuable insight and feedback nonetheless. I would encourage you folks to take advantage of it. Bill is also a business owner and I suspect he and his partners would love the opportunity to learn from their customers in the way you can here.

 

Bill already mentioned my discussion with Gary, but let me rehash it here for a moment:

 

First off, Bill is not a "pussie" as his self-deprecating comments might suggest (or if he is one, he's an old, bold, sandbagging pussie that takes long runouts over dubious terrain [you've all been warned]) - so I think in seconding my desire to see a laptrack up the overhanging wall at all times is not coming from the "can't get up those routes" perspective. And to be completely honest, and with no disrespect, I come to the gym to train, not climb - for me that happens outside on real rocks - so I'm looking for a training circuit that includes [at least one] a steep, overhanging jug route that I can do laps on. I'll do the hard routes as well, but warming up and cooling down, and more important, for endurance, I'm always going to be after yardage on steep walls.

 

The day I came in and saw Gary recently I counted the number of routes under 5.10 in the "big room" from the corner right of the storage closet on around to the bouldering entrance and it was only 7 out of 37; and the ratio of 5.11-5.12 to 5.10 was fairly steep out of the 30. I don't know your demographics, but pretty much that leaves folks learning to climb with a big gap between the learning routes in the area you first walk into on entering and all these tougher climbs in the "big room". I would imagine that makes it somewhat intimidating and less-than-inclusive for people trying to move their skills up from the 5.7 range. Routes in the 5.8-.9 range are "dual-purpose" from the standpoint of providing a viable path for folks just learning to progress and as endurance laptracks for people trying to get back in shape or work on their endurance for multi-pitch routes. So my specifc request to Gary, that I've repeated ever since the gym was over on 26 in Beaverton, is to always have a 5.8-.9 "jug route" on each major wall section - particularly the the steep ones. You'll know it's right if you can get up and down it a couple of times without touching ground.

 

And just to reiterate, we aren't making the request simply as old guys that can't cut it on the grades. Bill, Karsten, and I have recently put up (with assistance from Jim Opdyke (p1) and Marco Fedrizzi (p2) a multi-pitch route that goes at either 5.11c R or 5.10c R- C2/3. Bill and I alone have 60 years experience and a bunch of FA/FFA's between us and have a pretty good feel for what makes sense relative to keeping a life-long act together with climbing. Also (not speaking for Bill), in my thirty years I've had to occasionally focus on other things in life and then, on returning to climbing, had to come way back to get in shape again and have a pretty good sense of the process - and those laptracks are key to doing it quickly.

 

That this is a prennial request I have to make sometimes leaves me to wonder if your route setters aren't simply entertaining themselves rather than focusing on the needs of your clients. But, then again, I could be completely wrong and you guys get by just fine on a stable base of the high-end gym/sport climber set.

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I think a lot of people would be happy with an unpainted plywood wall with some holds on it if it meant a significant drop in price. That's all a lot of folks are looking for in a gym. No yoga, no shop, nothing fancy, just a stereo and some holds.

 

I have a fun time at the gym, though I had to fire up my crack dealing empire again to pay for it.

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