The NYC Sports Club Above All Sports Clubs

M Friedman's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,061

West 67th street between Columbus and Central Park West is one of Manhattan's prettiest tree-lined blocks, and was once home to one of New York City's most venerable sports clubs, The Reebok Sports Club NY. I arrived at this club in late 2012 for the first time as a young Wall Street financial analyst. In keeping with the gym's genteel old world meets new world character, nearly all of its male patrons wear a jacket and tie, and of course, so did I.

Now, this is something that I expect none of the young blood monkeys to understand. I am talking about a legendary place. In fact, gym isn't the word, and neither is sports club. This place was special, and not just to me.

For $215 a month, some would consider it a steep price for entry, but certainly not to buy happiness,

As you walked through its gilded doors, awaiting you was a rock-climbing wall, tread-milling trophy wives, and a dizzying array of yoga classes. But what made this place special was indeed the details: The Audemars Piguet clocks that adorned the walls. The lightly lavender scented iced towelettes to cool your face after a jog. The executive dressing room at an additional $250 a month. And, of course, The Kiehl's bath amenities.

These are not amenities to those who join a sports club up to the standards of the target college tees I lift in, it's a standard.

However, and in terrible circumstance, this era of luxury, and perhaps excess, has come to an end. Earlier this year, Equinox paid a hefty $110M to purchase these urban sanctuaries / wonderlands, and thereby writing the final chapter to its charm. With the solidarity of a brand like Equinox, we are sure to see the nuances of luxury forever wiped away from the Reebok Sports Club LA / NY.

To be fair, Equinox's CEO believes that all his gyms are, "much more sophisticated than anyone else in our industry." Though, and maybe foreshadowing of times to come, I think I just saw a University of Alabama sweatshirt.