By Anthony Paradiso
Chelsea Piers is a great gym located on West 20th Street at Hudson River Park in Chelsea. There are five different sports venues at Chelsea Piers including Sky Rink, a Field House, the Golf Club driving-range, Bowlmor, and Chelsea Piers Fitness—the largest of those facilities.
The general manager of Chelsea Piers Fitness—Chelsea is Lesley Kiger. Kiger described what makes Chelsea Piers Fitness so valuable to the community, “The track and sand volleyball courts you’re not going to find at any other [Chelsea Piers] locations; but I think what really sets us apart is the community around all of the different options that we have.”
Chelsea Piers Fitness has kept up with the latest trends in the gym industry by building new spaces so they can appeal to everyone’s fitness goals. Kiger added, “We have a huge sun deck which is right on the Hudson and is beautiful; you feel like you’re not in the city at all [because] you’re floating on the water. We also built a new Pilates studio. Pilates is a great activity for all ages and we built a new space that is really beautiful.”
Chelsea Piers also works with schools in the area to accommodate their athletic programs. “The Avenues New York school—we host their track practice. That’s a strong relationship because they’re right around corner from us,” Kiger said. “We also work with Collegiate and the New School. Community is very important to us [and] we’ve been working with NYU for five years on creating that experience for their students.”
I was able to contact several Villagers who shared their experiences as members of Chelsea Piers. The health club offers group exercise classes such as Yoga, Pilates, and Barre.
Joan Hall, who lives in the West Village and used to waitress at Caffe Reggio, described what appealed to her about taking yoga at Chelsea Piers Fitness, “Yoga works for me, I have been doing it for a long time and I highly recommend it.” Michael D. has been a member of the health club since 1996. He described the atmosphere inside Chelsea Piers Fitness, “The air and light just sold me on it. No matter what you are doing it feels open and spacious, like the opposite of NYC.”
At the present time there are not enough sports fields and indoor facilities to accommodate the community’s need to exercise during the winter. Chelsea Piers Fitness should be the first place people check out. It is nearby, and a new and well-run space that has helped Villagers like Joan and Michael and can help many more.