Solid Footing

The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers in New York City

By Richard Zowie


premier New York City fitness facility believes that the best way to keep up with and surpass the competition is to stay on the cutting edge and constantly look for ways to improve products and services.

This is accomplished by listening to what your customers have to say and giving them what they want. After all, satisfied customers turn into repeat customers who, in turn, tell their family, friends and acquaintances.

New York City's Sports Center at Chelsea Piers stays on top by offering customers a wide gamut of ways to work out along with programs that help them to get in shape and stay in shape.

Located in Manhattan's Chelsea waterfront area at 19th Street and the Hudson River, the sports center features countless amenities for every fitness need. Besides the pool, they include a quarter-mile indoor running track, two class studios and more than 100 group fitness classes each week, a 10,000-square-foot indoor rock climbing wall, the only indoor sand volleyball court in New York City, 20,000 square feet of cardio and strength training equipment, a boxing ring and circuit, three indoor basketball and volleyball courts, and two Hudson River sundecks.

Finding an exercise to do at the Chelsea Piers Sports Center is easy. Besides more than 100 classes, there are opportunities to work out with a personal trainer or take a break in the café and network with other members. And for those who like to stay on top of technology, there's also the complimentary Wi-Fi service.

When it comes to personal fitness training, the sports center has more than 40 highly trained and certified trainers to help members reach their personal health and fitness goals. They offer several personal fitness training options: certified personal trainers, exercise physiologists, athletic trainers, post-rehab specialists, strength and conditioning specialists and experts in sport-specific training regimens.

The club also offers training for those new to exercise who need training techniques to achieve a desired level of fitness. For those who desire a more challenging level of training, there's P.I.E.R. (Performance Improving Exercise Regimen) featuring trainers in sport-specific training who can help clients achieve their fitness goals or a desired physical performance. There's also the Elite Personal Training, where club members can train with top personal trainers who are regarded as experts and have the highest levels of certifications along with advanced degrees.

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:

Plastex Matting Inc.:

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