The Cliffs, a brand new climbing gym in Long Island City, has been shut down by the Department of Buildings for its "dangerous conditions"—the very last phrase you ever want to hear in association with "climbing gym." In Restaurant World, it'd be like finding out a cockroach in a chef's hat is preparing your flan with its diseased little roach paws. It's not good.
The 30,000-square-foot space was slapped with an alarming set of violations on October 29th, asserting that "rock climbing apparatus & walls shall be made vacant in so much as this amusement is dangerous & haz[ardous] to users." It also appears to have been operating without a valid certificate of occupancy!
It gets better (worse). According to DNAinfo, the gym's owner, Mike Wolfert, is facing bribery charges for allegedly paying off an undercover investigator posing as a DOB inspector in an attempt to have a stop-work order wiped away. He denies these claims, and adds that he will have the space inspected by a third party structural engineer, per the DOB's request.
"The walls and the structure is built to code, it's just a matter of getting the proper paperwork that the Department of Buildings is requiring," Wolfert told the news site.
The building was initially inspected on October 25 following an anonymous tip warning that the Cliffs was operating without its required permits.