Well the Dow went down another 700+ points yesterday and my bet is it goes below 8000 very soon, certainly by November. The U.S. is clearly in a recession and I am wondering how a sport that depends heavily on discretionary spending can continue the levels of marketing and sponsorship we have seen in the recent past. I may be over generalizing but I am convinced that the recent boom in competitions in the youth category was fueled at least in part by parents having access to easy credit. Plane tickets and hotels are not cheap. The same goes for young climbers traveling everywhere with no visible means of support. Can the industry continue sponsoring climbers when its margins, which are not large to start with, begin to erode?
Climbing has always been a sport for well-off white people and to a certain extent is recession-proof but I wonder if this time things will be different. Household incomes are on the way down and unemployment is certain to rise substantially. Retail spending is down everywhere except at Walmart and Costco. Can the climbing industry sustain itself at current levels?
Speaking of numbers, I have installed a visitor counter and noted 100+ unique visitors in less than 24 hours. Maybe these are nothing but spambots trawling for email addresses but I like to think that people are actually visiting the blog and reading. Thanks for your support!