Women-Owned Business Brings New Heights to Western New York


SBA Resource Partner SCORE Provides Essential Advice


BUFFALO, NY – Housed in the once-abandoned Wurlitzer Elementary School, Niagara Climbing Center has brought new heights to Western New York climbers, firefighters, boy scouts, students and employers since purchasing the business in 1998.

“At Niagara Climbing Center, we’ve worked to build a network of climbing classes that help our members and guests reach their climbing goals,” said Rhonda McGuire, owner and director of business. “Climbing offers an exciting and challenging workout and physically, it emphasizes strength, flexibility and endurance. It’s a place that inspires people to keep pushing themselves.”

While much of the indoor climbing’s success can be attributed to the accessibility of the sport, McGuire said the trend has also grown by attracting climbers who aren’t interested in the more traditional outdoor rock climbing. “ I came to a point where I wanted ideas on how to maximize our space and how to be competitive while learning effective strategies in marketing.”

McGuire sought mentoring from SBA resource partner SCORE Buffalo Niagara because she wanted someone who had been in her shoes to guide her through competitive obstacles. It was through her SCORE mentor that she received essential advice and marketing tips that would create noticeable differences from her competition and ways to make her services unique.

SCORE is America’s premier small business counseling organization since 1964. And it’s mission to

help you achieve your business goals. The 70+ volunteers of SCORE Buffalo Niagara have many decades of real-world business experience to share with you as part of a national network of over 10,000. SCORE’s experienced business mentors provide general business advice on every aspect of business planning, start- up, management and growth.

The Niagara Climbing Center differs with its yoga and meditation practices. Practices that include intense workouts to fully restorative relaxation to a variety of times to accommodate client schedules. For climbers, indoor heights range from 20 to 30 feet.

“When I first purchased the business, it was mostly just climbers looking for a place to work out, now there’s an even larger group of people that add our yoga practices, says McGuire. “We are busy and our market is growing.”

The Niagara Climbing Center has 18 part-time and full-time employees and is open Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday’s from 3 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 10pm and Sunday’s from 12 pm to 6 pm. The business is located at 1333 Strad Avenue in North Tonawanda, New York.

She advises other small business owners, “try not to make work your entire life, follow your SCORE mentor’s advice and you will feel and see the results!”

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.