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Sweat hogs! City doubles price of gyms • Brooklyn Paper

Sweat hogs! City doubles price of gyms

Members of Williamsburg’s Metropolitan Pool were not happy about a fee hike that doubled annual dues to $150, starting June 30. The increase affects all city-run recreation facilities.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

Working out on the cheap just got twice as pricey.

Brooklyn’s gym rats used to paying as little as $50 per year at Parks Department gyms experienced sticker shock Friday when the city doubled the price of membership to its recreation centers and indoor pools.

On July 1, annual fees for a gym with an indoor pool jumped from $75 to $150 a year, while fees for a gym without a pool shot up from $50 to $100 — and a swarm of members showed up at the wire to ensure they could keep costs down.

On Thursday night, the eve of the fiscal year, hundreds of members swarmed Brooklyn centers in order to renew their memberships before the price went up.

Workers at the Metropolitan Recreation Center on Bedford Avenue filled out more than 275 membership applications on Thursday alone.

But those who did not fill out their forms on time or showed up Friday morning to renew saw the price double.

Williamsburg resident Juliette Mapp, who purchased a six-month membership on Friday, said she was going to come Thursday, but her son took a long nap.

“I got screwed,” said Mapp. “It’s a big jump, but it’s still absolutely the cheapest deal in the neighborhood.”

Many members said they would just pay the fees since it would help keep the centers open.

“I’ll be able to afford it,” said Carroll Gardens resident Geoff Wilson “Doubling it is a stretch but I’d rather the pool stay open than have it closed or go into disrepair.”

A Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman blamed the city’s lack of money on the price hike.

“All agencies are required to reduce spending and increase revenues,” said Parks spokeswoman Megan Lalor. “Despite the fee increases, our recreation center memberships remain the most affordable deal in town.”

Not everyone agrees.

Any increase of recreational fees, which are important to the health of all New Yorkers, is crazy,” said McCarren Tennis founder Sean Hoess, who said he would not join a city gym after the price increase. “The only thing I can afford now is tennis.”

And Angelo Melendez, who works out at the Red Hook Recreation Center, said he wasn’t a fan of the hike.

“It was very affordable before,” said Melendez. “I think they should keep it at a real reasonable price for everybody.”

There are 25,721 members of eight city recreation centers in Brooklyn.

Gym fees for seniors, a bargain basement $25, remained unchanged, and children under the age of 17 can still use city fitness center for free.

But fees for other public facilities, such as tennis courts, have already increased from $100 to $200 for the season.

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