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An Old Law Aimed at Brothels Actually Hurts Gyms

New York

SoulCycle wants to open more studios, but it's hitting red tape due to an old-school law created in 1978 that's meant to hamper the surge of sketchy massage parlors popping up in Times Square. It requires that all gyms, spas, martial arts schools, massage studios and health clubs get a physical culture establishment permit. The process takes roughly six months, costs up to $50k, and subjects applicants to a limited background check and several public hearings where neighbors can voice their opinions, Crain's New York reports. Critics feel this system not only puts a thorn in legitimate physical culture establishments' sides, but it doesn't even do much to deter illegal sex establishments. The architect of the original law, Carl Weisbrod, now head of the City Planning Commission, agrees and is taking a second look to see how the law can be modified or eliminated. [Crain's]