Why you should care
Because who wants to freshen up in a bathroom at Grand Central Station?
There’s a little more than 1.5 million people who live in Manhattan. But there are tens of millions more who stay in the surrounding boroughs and burbs, only a train ride away when they want to come play. The problem for these day-trippers is just that: They’re there for the day. They don’t have a home or a hotel to retreat to. No place to put down their bags. Nowhere to freshen up between shopping and dinner.
An answer may be coming soon. Enter Posh City Club, a hybrid accommodation for the one-and-done visitor. “The idea was born out of necessity — my own experiences and everyone I know,” says Wayne Parks, the startup’s founder, who lives in nearby New Jersey.
This is actually a problem New York has been trying to solve for some time.
Posh City Club is something between a gym and a private club. It has lockers for people to store their belongings, full-service bathrooms, refrigerators and lounges for recharging your electronics and yourself. When it opens, hopefully within the year, the flagship location will be in Midtown, with 15 satellites sprinkled throughout the city. But not just anyone can come in off the street: Membership will cost $15 a year, and then you have to buy day passes as well, which run about $7 depending on the package.
This is actually a problem New York has been trying to solve for some time. There used to be lockers at Grand Central Station, but they were removed after 9/11. Then, a few years back, the Bloomberg administration installed self-cleaning toilets in Madison Square Park — those didn’t last long either. Nothing seemed to work, and, in the meantime, the city’s taxpayers weren’t exactly enthusiastic about footing the bill for visitor accommodations. If Posh succeeds where others have failed, Parks hopes to expand it to destinations across the country.
But Jeff Morgan, CEO of the Club Managers Association of America, thinks it sounds more “like an airline lounge. It doesn’t really fit the mold of a city club.” On the other hand, if it’s successful, he says, private clubs are likely to steal the idea. Exodus to the suburbs has left private clubs struggling to lure and retain members. Some now offer wine cellars, spas and urban gardens.
Less grit and schlep, more brunch and indie bookstores? We’d take the A train to that.
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