Oct. 8, 2013 By Anna Kowalczuk
More than 2,000 people came to Long Island City Saturday for the grand opening of the largest rock climbing facility in the North East.
The Cliffs at LIC, located at 11-44th Drive, drew small children, curious 20-40 year olds, to hard-core rock climbers. Many, upon arrival, looked up and gaped at the 30,000 square feet of climbing terrain, the rappel tower and the 60-feet high walls.
Opening day, which went from 9 am to 10 pm, was largely a celebratory affair. There was live music and giveaways. Meanwhile, kids were climbing up the smaller walls, while some of the adults were tackling some of the more advanced slopes with heavy-duty equipment.
“The turnout has more than exceeded my expectations,” said Mike Wolfert, the owner for the facility, who said that many of the attendees were nearby residents.
Wolfert said he was pleased by the cross section of people. He said it was partly due to the design of the facility, where he has “easy” walls for beginners and children, and “challenging climbs and equipment” for the serious athletes and climbers.
The fitness area attracted the athletic types, who were drawn to its strength training equipment and cardiovascular machines.
Wolfert said the Cliffs offers a great full body workout while simultaneously creating a social gathering place. He envisages people going to his facility and then going out for a beer or dinner afterward.
The Cliffs is now open, offering day passes, month passes and annual individual or family memberships. Climbing gear such as shoes, harness, belay device and chalk bags are also available for rent.