Facility Profile - November 2009
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Solid Footing

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York City

By Richard Zowie

The Sports Center offers over 100 group fitness classes a week in its two, spacious and sunny fitness studios. Group fitness classes, ranging from yoga basics to masters swim team, are led by over 50 of Manhattan's top fitness professionals. In addition to the studios, group fitness classes are also held on the indoor track, the indoor sand volleyball court, in the swimming pool, boxing ring, spinning studio and on the indoor rock climbing wall. During the summer months, yoga and spinning classes are often scheduled on the sundecks. Members also enjoy cutting-edge specialty classes and master classes from guest instructors.

For those who wish to lose weight or add muscle, there are also programs that focus on weight loss and power lifting.

The spa features eight rooms, a spa lounge and a manicure/pedicure room with a river view.

"This is one of the larger gyms in the area," said Sports Center Operations Director Bill Gordon. "You can find a swimming pool, volleyball and other activities in a gym along with specialty items. We treat our members in a great way that I don't think anyone else does."

That involves constant upgrades, staying as current as possible and offering new experiences for their customers.

For example, recently, the health club replaced the matting around its six-lane, 25-yard indoor pool. The upgrade aims to prevent the tile pool deck from becoming too slippery, as well as prevent mildew resulting from inadequate water drainage. The facility has had matting in place for more than 12 years, but the previous matting didn't go far enough to solve problems.

Gordon recalled how customers voiced concerns about how the prior matting, though relatively new, didn't offer adequate drainage. The water trapped by the matting would create mildew and an unpleasant odor.

"It was also a harder material, which our members found to be uncomfortable on their bare feet," Gordon added.

To handle this problem, Chelsea Piers installed 300 feet of wet surface matting. Gordon said the matting's "four-way drainage" system prevents water from building up underneath the mats. It also offers great slip resistance, has an antibacterial additive, is resistant to ultraviolet rays and, solving a concern of many customers, is easy on bare feet.

Another benefit: The thermally welded PVC open-grid matting has no installation costs. In a time when companies are looking for ways to save money, that's certainly good news.

The result has been very positive. The club's members like what they see and feel in the mat. With the drainage system and antibacterial additive, there's no buildup of water, no risk of slipping and no threat of an unpleasant odor from mildew.

"These issues have been removed from the pool area, and our members are very appreciative," Gordon added. "It's a softer material. It has met our requirements and has worked out the best. We're happy we found it."


Chelsea Pier Sports & Entertainment Center: www.chelseapiers.com

Plastex Matting Inc.: www.heronrib.com