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Monday, September 10, 2007

Hogging the Beach Chair at Manhattan Park Pool


Who would have thought that a post about a new Roosevelt Island swimming blog would have struck such a chord. A reader unhappy with the Manhattan Park Pool comments:

... I would just like to comment on the Manhattan Park Pool. I live in Manhattan Park and I was a member of the pool Summer of 2006. My husband and I considered the price to be outrageous but since it was our first summer on the island we decided to give it a try. We both work and do not arrive home until 7pm or later so we only used it on the weekends. Our experience was beyond disappointment. If you did not arrive at the moment it opened you could not find a lounger. Many people would claim a chair with their towel, swim for an hour and then go home and expect to come back to that same chair. This summer we considered joining again but due to the insane cost (no pool club in Manhattan costs as much) we decided to forgo the membership and go out of town for the weekends. I understand that the management has added more lounge chairs which is great but if the fee for a couple is more than $500USD for essentially which may amount to 24 days a season we will not be taking a membership again next summer. Manhattan Park has turned out to be much much more expensive than what we were told when we first moved here. That topic is probably better for a new blog topic completely.
It is unfortunate that this issue has arisen at the end of the summer. Perhaps by highlighting this issue now changes can be made in time for the pool season next summer. Link to the image is here.

56 comments :

Anonymous said...

I agree that the membership fees for the Manhattan Park are on the high side (for Roosevelt Island, that is). I sure doubt, though, that they are not on par with other private pool clubs throughout the city.

Three months of unlimited membership for a household of 2 is $500. If you really get to go every day after work, before work, on the weekends, or if you have kids with a nanny or you are a stay-at-home parent who can go there every day all day long it is definitely worth it.

Maybe it would be a great idea to sell weekend only memberships less?

I agree with the poster that the chair and umbrella situation was quite bad last year (summer 2006). There was also a problem with the cleanliness of the water. This year, though, I think they got their act together quite well. The membership was a tad more expensive than last year but the experience was much better. Plus we got two extra weekends in September after labor day (take that Octagon people!).

We will definitely sign up again for next year. It's the perfect place to be for young children, if you don't get out of the city that often during the summer.

Just another point of view.

Anonymous said...

I am the person who originally posted. I am happy to hear about the improvement at Manhattan Park Pool Club this past season. It was truly needed.
You are correct about the convienence and the price for a family and/or nanny who is able to utilize the Pool Club during the weekdays as well as the weekend. However, I've checked with the Top 10 Outdoor/Indoor pools in Manhattan and the price of membership includes a year long membership to a gym as well as the pool or is equal to the day rate at Manhattan Park. Manhattan Park did offer a monthly fee. We broke it down to the days one could use the pool and it was far cheaper to buy the Summer pass.
My husband and I ended up spending more than the cost of the summer pool pass on our weekends this summer. I did miss using the pool club. We did feel the price was not worth our while but we also felt the price was also used to keep the lower income families out of the Pool Club.
We are aware that there are a large number of U.N. employees in the building. It is my understanding that many if not all have their rent subsidized by their sponsers. I am wondering, by no fault of their own, if they realize the extra hidden costs in a building like Manhattan Park? If I had not lived in Manhattan for over 10 years and knew what the typical price of utilities and all the extras cost in a Manhattan apartment I would never question it either. Again..probably another topic altogether....

Carl said...

I don't think they got their act together at all. If it is really intended only as an amenity for families with kids, they should say so when "selling" it, instead of misleading those who work long hours, or off-shifts, that it was a perk available to them. COuldn't they have purchased and offered tennis court permits at a discount?

Anonymous said...

I do not think Manhattan Park disclosed much when we were looking for a new apartment. So far we've been met with a $400.00 utility bill in February. We leave for work at 7 and are home at 7 and we were not home for 2 weekends out of the month. We tried to contest it but to no avail. The Pool Club. The mysterious due date for the rent.....etc.

NYCMikeWP said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the outrageous utility bills at Manhattan Park. Ours was over 300 bucks last month. I'm afraid to see what winter brings in. Not only was this not disclosed when we moved in, the paperwork suggested that because Con Ed charges Manhattan Park a sort of bulk rate, that our utility portion of our rent would be LOWER!

Clearly not the case.

JMBO said...

Wait until it suddenly spikes. Their explanation then is that they underbilled you for some other period and are "catching up". Besides, the buildings are crap now, they have done a lousy job in ongoing maintenance.

Anonymous said...

I completely forgot about the sell on the bulk rate! Our utility bill is higher in the winter which was never the case in other apartments. Their excuse for the sudden increase was that the cost went up that month. That didn't settle with me but it was either pay it or end up in court. Manhattan Park is known to be very aggressive with tenants who pay late and/or not the total amount of rent.

tom said...

I think the problem with utilities isn't the rate, but rather the extremely inefficient heating/cooling devices. A space heater works at least as well at a fraction of the cost of those massive forced-air wall units.

As for the pool club, my family and I belonged to it this summer, and apart from some issues with umbrella hogs, it was an entirely positive experience. It's not cheap, but I don't think it's overpriced relative to other options.

tom said...

"However, I've checked with the Top 10 Outdoor/Indoor pools in Manhattan and the price of membership includes a year long membership to a gym as well as the pool or is equal to the day rate at Manhattan Park."

Not really a comparable product. When it's 90 degrees and I want to sit by a pool and relax, I don't envision myself trekking to the gym and sitting around some disgusting and tiny gym pool.

Anonymous said...

I checked with the top 10 Outdoor/Indoor pools in Manhattan. Perhaps I failed to mention that the facilities were equal to or better than Manhattan Park. A comparable product indeed. As for the space heater, how do I put this...HA HA HA WHAT? I moved to Manhattan Park because I believed it was the best "bang for my buck". Why would I even consider a place where I should use a very dangerous item such as a space heater?!?! What? This is exactly the reason why I didn't go for a pre-war on the UES! Use a space heater?!?!?!? Tom, do you work for Manhattan Park??

Tom said...

Yes, I own your apartment, in fact.

I'm trying to tell you that you're not getting a bad "rate" on your electricity. You have an inefficient forced air heating unit. A pre-war on the UES would have steam heat. Maybe you should have gone for that. I recommend that you do.

Feel free to post the "top 10 Outdoor/Indoor pools in Manhattan" that are more affordable and have "better facilities" than the Manhattan Park pool. You've done so much research, I'm sure everyone would love to see the results.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you Omar for breaking up the obvious antagonistic remarks of the last poster. Costa Rica advert or not at least he was not asking someone to bring on the latest figures of the top 10 pools in manhattan while wishing that said person chose the UES over Roosevelt Island. I encourage more to give Roosevelt Island a try. I consider it to truly be an oasis. It's wonderful to get excited about a Duane Reade opening.

tom said...

Didn't mean to offend any bystanders, Anonymous. It's challenging to strike the right tone to respond to someone who ends each sentence with several exclamation points and question marks and accuses you of being stupid and/or disingenous (i.e. a shill for Manhattan Park). My simple points remain: (1) my family had an extremely good experience with the Manhattan Park pool (the pool itself, the friendly staff, and our fellow poolgoers); and (2) while electric bills are outrageous at Manhattan Park, it likely has nothing to do with the rate and everything to do with the crap heating/cooling units, especially with regard to heating. Forced air is notoriously inefficient, and the units at Manhattan Park are mindblowingly inefficient.

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