On the anniversary of state closure - gratitude

As we approach the one year anniversary of the stay at home orders of 2020, we, the HQ team at Pad SLO, Pad Origin, and Ascent Ventures wanted to reach out.

We want to look back at the last year and acknowledge the fear, pain, and uncertainty many of us have felt and experienced, especially in the early days of wondering what was going on, doom scrolling on our phones, and reimagining what our lives and plans would be.

We all know this year was trying, and that it has been hard for everyone both during 2020 and prior as we learned and grew, but we wanted to let you, our community, our supporters, our people, know that we have undertaken, as we always have, the hard work to learn and grow this year. As an organization, we’ve emerged much stronger, thanks to the people that we worked hard to keep employed through the past year when others advised us not to. 

We’re grateful to those whom we owed money to for graciously suspending those payments: The Pad Climbing had a hard time getting started and we relied on the support of the community for loans that should have been repaid by now. Our requests for leniency have been met with nothing but support – and for those who could not be lenient because of their own situations, we’re proud to have made good on our promises to them even under the closure conditions.

We’re grateful for the staff whom we’ve said goodbye to in 2020. The team met prior to the pandemic in February for three days to discuss internal organization issues and opportunities. We had a laundry list of things it felt impossible to get through to achieve what we wanted to. In that way, the forced closure has been a welcome reset button – we’ve met and exceeded every goal and objective we set at that retreat. 

Those whom we were not able to retain to achieve this, we see you. We thank you for your service, supporting us, and for your understanding. We have seen some of you take the separation as an opportunity to build and grow new things – things for yourselves, not for us – and those things are beautiful and it’s what we hope for all who work with us.

We’re grateful for the staff who we did retain – who graciously took pay cuts across the board and yet worked just as hard, with commitment and resolve, to set us up to shoot for the moon, repay our debts, and envision a stronger community than ever before.

One thing we were not able to retain was our Santa Maria location. Born out of a hope that we would bring the life-changing qualities of community and aspiration that we discovered in SLO to the Santa Maria valley – we did achieve that goal, but not to the degree that we were able to sustain it through the pandemic and the recovery thereafter. It was never supposed to make a ton of money – it was supposed to inspire. It did that, but in the end, money talked. We still see and love you, northern Santa Barbara county, and we hope one day to be back, whether it’s us, us helping you, or to visit someone else’s venture to replace us. You deserve more and we’re sorry.

And, truly, we’re grateful to the community that supported us, as it always has since the beginning. To the cities of Henderson and San Luis Obispo for grants that kept our landlords happy and employees secure. To those of you who opted to pay your membership dues through closure to support us – it has made all the difference – you cannot see it, and we cannot promise you that we will ever be able to repay you for your gesture, but YOU are the reason that we fought as hard as we did. 

When it felt like the world just wanted us to close and give up, the faith you gave us reminded us what we were fighting for and why this mattered well beyond the pandemic.

There are great things on the horizon. Our team is poised to bring you more than you would expect from us, give access to those who did not think that climbing and its assorted costs would ever be open to them, and continue to help give you a home and a place to grow, achieve, and dream.

Here’s to the future, friends.

All our love,

SLO Op, The Pad, Origin, and Ascent Ventures:

Kristin Horowitz – Founder and CEO

Yishai Horowitz – Founder and Chief Business Developer

Jessica Mitchell – COO

Josef Maier – Route Setting and Youth Programs Director

Jacob Rivera – Crew Lead/HR

Jaz Ferguson – Relations Director

Deshe Gully – Marketing Director

Kristina Albrecht – Brand Manager/Designer

Gratitude to our community on the anniversary of state closure.