Posted on August 13, 2009
A new alternative to rock climbing at the usual New York City health club and Chelsea Piers has opened: a venue solely dedicated to indoor rock climbing. Brooklyn Boulders, an indoor rock climbing gym that is said to be a first for the borough, opened in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn on August 5 and is already a hit with locals. The gym is co-owned by Jeremy Balboni, 26, and Steven Spaeth, 25, who did all of the construction of the walls and padded floors themselves along with employees of Spaeth’s family’s design marketing firm (that also happens to design Macy’s holiday windows.) The 18,000-square-foot former Daily News warehouse at Degraw Street and Third Avenue has thirty-foot ceilings and tasteful graffiti art and cartoons decorating portions of the wall where there aren’t nylon climbing grips. Climbing walls are tilted from just under vertical to totally horizontal for the most advanced. A scalable mock-up of a tower of the Brooklyn Bridge is a focal point in the gym. Brooklyn Boulders is open to memberships. A day pass is $20/day with your own gear, or $30/day with provided gear and instruction. A yearly membership is $600 and a lifetime membership can be purchased for $5,000. It can be hard for gyms to survive on membership revenue alone, so to help Brooklyn Boulders survive, it’s available for corporate team-building, private special events and birthday parties. The hours are irregular as the finishing touches are being made. Brooklyn Boulders is currently open 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays with classes taking place at a few different times. Visit www.brooklynboulders.com for more information.