City shuts massive climbing gym

Mike Wolfert has gotten in hot water with the city — first for allegedly bribing a buildings inspector and now for not having proper paperwork for his Long Island City climbing gym, Cliffs. Here, Wolfert tests out his bungee.

JOHN TAGGART/JOHN TAGGART FOR NEW YORK DAILY

Mike Wolfert has gotten in hot water with the city — first for allegedly bribing a buildings inspector and now for not having proper paperwork for his Long Island City climbing gym, Cliffs. Here, Wolfert tests out his bungee.

One of the country’s largest indoor climbing gyms isn’t on the up and up.

The city closed the just-opened Cliffs at Long Island City because the owners of the former warehouse didn’t submit documentation to certify the center’s towering climbing walls were properly secured.

Co-owner Mike Wolfert called the Oct. 25 closure only “a matter of paperwork.”

“The walls are completely built to code,” he said, claiming the proper paperwork was submitted on the next business day, Oct. 28.

Here’s what the Cliffs at Long Island City looked like before its opening this summer.

Here’s what the Cliffs at Long Island City looked like before its opening this summer.

Yet the business remains shuttered by city order.

“I’m hoping that people will understand that this is just a paperwork thing,” said the avid climber, who owns a similar gym in Valhalla, N.Y. “We’ll get through it.”

RELATED: CLIMBING GYM TO OPEN IN LONG ISLAND CITY

But the gym may not be back on solid ground anytime soon.

Cliffs at Long Island City does not look like much from the outside.

JOHN TAGGART/JOHN TAGGART FOR NEW YORK DAILY

Cliffs at Long Island City does not look like much from the outside.

“There’s a number of required items they still need,” said Department of Buildings spokeswoman Kelly Magee. “They need to have a number of inspections.”

This isn’t the first setback for Wolfert — who is facing seven years behind bars for allegedly bribing an undercover investigator in April to secure construction permits.

He promised the investigator, posing as a city inspector, “cash or whatever” to take care of a stop work order. Wolfert is accused of giving the investigator $ 94 in bribes — and then $ 1,000 more when the problem went away, according to court papers.

The closure of Cliffs isn’t expected to permanently dissuade die-hard climbers.

“I’d still love to go there, but I hope they get their act together,” said climber Manuel Labindao, who runs the NYC Hiking and Outdoor Adventure Group. “Everybody I know that’s gone there is a big fan.”

ctrapasso@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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