Massive Long Island City Rock Climbing Gym 'The Cliffs' to Open Saturday

By Jeanmarie Evelly on October 3, 2013 1:41pm 

 The Cliffs at LIC will debut at 11-11 44th Dr. in Long Island City Oct. 5, promising to be one of the largest rock climbing gyms in the country with over 30,000 square feet of climbing terrain that can fit up to 500 climbers at once.
The Cliffs at LIC will debut at 11-11 44th Dr. in Long Island City Oct. 5, promising to be one of the largest rock climbing gyms in the country with over 30,000 square feet of climbing terrain that can fit up to 500 climbers at once.
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The Cliffs at LIC

LONG ISLAND CITY — A massive climbing gym and fitness center will open its doors in Queens this weekend complete with circus performers and snacks from local vendors — despite the owner facing an ongoing bribery investigation.

The Cliffs at LIC will debut at 11-11 44th Dr. in Long Island City Oct. 5, promising to be one of the largest rock climbing gyms in the country with more than 30,000 square feet of climbing terrain that can fit up to 500 climbers at once.

The gym will celebrate with a jam-packed grand opening party on Saturday, offering a $10 day pass special to climbers.

"We're going to have activities set up for the whole day," said owner Mike Wolfert, who also runs another rock climbing gym in Westchester county.

The first-day festivities will include classes led by personal trainers, demos from outdoor gear vendors, circus performers, live music, snacks from local food vendors and mini-climbing competitions.

Visitors will also be able to take a walk on the gym's highline — a tight rope suspended 40-feet in the air that athletes traverse while strapped into a harness.

For the less brave, the gym also offers a slackline, where the rope is suspended just a few feet off the ground.

"It's kind of a subculture that's been really exploding," Wolfert said.

The Cliffs at LIC was originally slated to open this spring but was delayed after Wolfert was ensnared in a bribery scandal in May, accused by city officials of handing over cash to an undercover investigator posing as a Department of Buildings inspector.

Wolfert said he couldn't comment on the ongoing case, other than to say that he disputes the accusations against him.

But the legal snares haven't hurt business for the highly-anticipated gym, where a standard membership costs $95 a month. Wolfert says he expects hundreds of visitors on opening day.

"The interest has been way above our projections and our expectations," he said.

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