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Boutique fitness moves to the suburbs


The New York City 'burbs are getting a slew of name-brand, white-hot boutique fitness studios, from SoulCycle and Flywheel to Megaformer and barre.
Yoga Spark in Mamaroneck.
Yoga Spark in Mamaroneck, New York.

New boutique fitness studios seem to pop open in Manhattan every time you turn around, but now, New York’s suburbs are getting in on the action, too.

“A lot of the men and women who move out of the city to the suburbs—because they have kids or their jobs relocate—have the same mentality and willingness to work hard. These people have been missing their fitness,” says SLT owner Amanda Freeman.

It makes sense, both for commuters who want access to their beloved Megaformers on the weekends and for permanent city exiles who have fond memories of their days alternating between spinning and Bikram.

The major players on the New York City scene, and a few new ones, are now rushing to meet the demand.

Flywheel Englewood
Flywheel Englewood, New Jersey

Across the Hudson in New Jersey, Freeman will open her next SLT location in Short Hills on June 15 and another Megaformer brand, Corefire, is scheduled to debut in Montclair soon.

Flywheel is now open in Millburn and Englewood.

And the Garden State is overflowing with barre studios. In addition to the slew already there, Barre3 recently opened two new studios and Pure Barre is opening three locations before the summer ends.

Connecticut’s commuter towns are no exception—SoulCycle just opened in Greenwich, where Ashtanga center Jois Yoga opened last year. Barre studios like Go Figure are all over, and Chelsea Piers opened a complex with a Flywheel tucked inside last year—the brand debuted a Flybarre studio there just last week.

In Westchester, SoulCycle is opening in Rye Brook this summer, and its Scarsdale studio is booming, where a new Bikram Yoga studio also just opened. A Megaformer studio, CoreLab, opened in Katonah in January, and a new hot power yoga studio, YogaSpark, debuted in Mamaroneck, founded by former investment banker Lauren Porat.

“A lot of the people in the suburbs are exercise junkies like me,” Porat explains. “Just because you move to Larchmont with two kids doesn’t mean you want your body to go to hell.”

YogaSpark has been incredibly successful so far by offering the same level of boutique experience fitness buffs are used to finding in Manhattan. “People come in all of the time and say ‘you should open this up in the city.'” Porat’s thinking that may not be such a bad idea. —Lisa Elaine Held

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