Letter from Taki Miyamoto, Managing Partner of Salt Pump Climbing Co.

Dear Salt Pump Community,


My name is Taki Miyamoto. I know many of you but if I have not had the opportunity to introduce myself in person, I am the managing partner of Salt Pump. I want to provide you with context for our decision-making. The long and short of it is: we want to do what’s right by constantly reassessing the situation.


Below is a letter I sent as a “letter to the editor” of the Portland Press Herald on Friday. It did not get published by the paper but it has made its way to a few current state legislators who have appreciated the communication and are working hard on action plans. I share this with you because I do not want any misunderstanding that we are resistant to closing Salt Pump. In fact, I support and encourage strong mitigation measures, including temporary closures, as it appears that such measures have been the only effective means in slowing down the spread of this virus. I do think it has to be across the board to be most effective. At the same time, the impact on your lives, the financial implications on Salt Pump and to our employees and their loved ones of closing weighs heavily on a decision to close completely.


We have been making decisions through thoughtful and timely discussions based on the available information. I hope we can continue to do so. As of this morning, we have made the decision to continue with number restrictions. We will be revisiting our decision to continue youth programming today based on the information regarding school closures. We will also revisit our decision to continue to remain open generally and will provide an update this evening.


Thank you for your continued support and understanding. I would also love to hear from you. Please reach out to me with your thoughts at [email protected].



We are facing a public health crisis. Our collective priority needs to be to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard the ability of our hospitals and health care workers to respond to those in need. As the owner of a climbing gym—a gathering place for people of all ages— the decision about what to do is beyond difficult.  The potential financial implications of COVID-19 are scary for our business’ bottom line and for our employees, whom we would like to be able to continue to pay in the event of a closure. A proactive approach is better than a reactive one for the health and safety of all community members and to minimize the long-term economic impacts of a pandemic.


If one business acts altruistically by closing, it is not enough. If all businesses act together, we can reduce the public health impacts and therefore reduce the long-term financial impact for all businesses.

This is the time for businesses to act together to stop the spread of COVID-19 and for the government to aid these businesses to implement significant mitigation measures, including temporary closures, to slow the spread of COVID-19. We are in a position to learn from other places where the outbreak is much more extensive. If we all act together to reduce the severity of the public health crisis, we can bring a little more certainty to its impacts and minimize the health and economic repercussions.

Business owners are not public health experts and we rely on the advice and leadership of our government and public health officials. Our interest is in protecting our community members, our employees, and our bottom line. If the best way to do this is to implement significant mitigation measures, including temporary closures in the short-term, we encourage government and public health officials to implement policies and guidance for how to do this.