I finally got to the Gym in Tempe, and I figured I'd write up my experiences as an intro for those who haven't been. :)
For starters, this is Phoenix Rock Gym.
I walked in, up to the counter, and saw a stack of clipboards, and as someone walked up on the otherside of the counter, I said "these are the waivers?" They realized this was my first time in that gym, but definately not in a gym. :) So I filled out the paperwork, paid my $10, cause I had all my own gear, and then had to watch a video. It was a basic video, and apparently a requirement for anyone new, no matter what. That's okay, it was fairly short, and just enough time to get my shoes on and set. ;) The only part that was good was the belaying part. They've got belay devices I haven't seen/used before. They're apparently good for people with short attention spans. ;) Basically, if the belayer lets go, you still won't fall. Hell, with the humidity and everything, it was hard to get the person down when you wanted to. :) Just looked it up, its called a Grigri device. Note to self, NEVER buy one. :) Unfortunately they have them pre-attached to every rope, and its a requirement to use them. When I told them I was used to an ATC, they're like, okay, you won't have any problems. :) Also, while reading the waiver, I noticed they had belayer tiedowns, and require you to use them. I like that they have them, cause if my gf belays for me, she'd be off the ground if I fellt. :) But I had an issue a couple times, cause I found they were too close to the wall, and it caused the rope to get in the way of the climber...a bad thing. ;)
So after I watched the video, they found out I didn't have a partner. I was really just planning to get tested so I had everything all setup for later. So I went and boldered for a while, and they came over with someone that would help me test. He had a group that he needed to get back to, but he used to work there, so they asked if he would mind. Apparently his group was falling apart, and asked if I would belay him on a couple routes. A fun bunch really. We exchanged numbers and hopefully catch up later.
The gym is pretty cool. Like I said, the only thing I don't like is the restrictions, ie the tiedowns and belay devices. I mean they're good for people who aren't real climbers, but annoying for us. :) The height of the gym was nice, it made for a nice long climb, just higher than I was used to. :) Its not really the height that bothers me, just the length of the climb. ;) But it will be good once I go a few times and get back to where I should be. ;)
Also, we realized the pads on the floor are not for falling onto, but rather laying on. :) I didn't climb a whole lot today, but it was fun. :)