Planet Rock Gym's Pandemic Survival

One of Michigan's oldest and largest gyms needs your support!
A share, a kind word, a monetary donation....  it all helps.

A message from Nick Cocciolone, Owner of Planet Rock:

When I opened Planet Rock Pontiac in 1994, it was just supposed to be a fun thing to do while I was trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. Climbing was not only an obsession, it became a way to express myself. Pouring my heart and soul into the gyms has led me to create and build some of the best gyms around. I am deeply privileged to have some of the best staff in the industry. I am humbled by the family and community that has grown out of it. Welcoming new folks to the sport of climbing was - and still is - incredibly rewarding. It’s also been rewarding to give back to the community through nonprofit programs and local organizations, and by promoting healthy lifestyles, environmental stewardship and community outreach.

Through the years (26 of them!!!) the gyms have become so much more than I expected: a super cool job; a literal family (Andrea, Lydia and Tia); and you, my Planet Rock family - all the past, present and future Planet Rock climbers and staff, who have come along on this journey with me. Some of you are my lifelong friends, some of you I’ve met only briefly, and some of you I hope to meet soon, but all of you are part of the most amazing and supportive community of people I’ve ever been a part of. If you’re reading this, then perhaps you share not only my love of climbing, but also my love for the warm, caring nature of the Planet Rock community.

I am turning to you now, my Planet Rock family, to ask for your immediate support. The monthly costs of running a climbing gym, even when closed, are significant. We minimized and  conserved as much as possible, exhausting company and personal savings. We had some gear sales and expanded some classes, but we've borrowed and utilized everything the government and lenders have allowed for. After 6 months of closures, and potentially several more months of seriously limited capacity once we reopen, Planet Rock is faced with critical financial uncertainties beyond our control.

Your financial support will provide a bridge between the current forced closure and a point where the gym is stable again on its own. Monthly operating costs such as rent, utilities, insurance, essential payroll and other fixed overhead still must be paid and total $68,000 for Ann Arbor and Madison Heights. While we are super excited to open at any capacity, the income generated at a reduced capacity will not cover those expenses plus the extra expenses necessary to open, such as staffing. Funds given to our campaign will help keep the gyms operational for the next 3 months as we continue to navigate this extraordinary situation and return to a more stable income. We will keep you updated with our progress.   

We are truly grateful for anything you can give. If you can't financially support, please give us a follow, a share, a kind word. It all helps. Thank you all for the many years of love, laughter and being a part of our lives. We are devoted to you, our community and family, and hope to carry on being a part of your family for many generations to come.

With love and gratitude,
Nick Cocciolone


  • Anonymous
    • $166 
    • 3 yrs
  • Joseph Priebe
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • mark wilford
    • $200 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Deborah Augsburger
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs


Nicholas Cocciolone
Ann Arbor, MI

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