New York City: Always Something New to See

NYC Central Park view

You would be hard-pressed to find another destination that matches New York City's energy, excitement, and breadth of activities. With Broadway shows, eclectic music, museums, historical attractions, and cuisine from all over the world, there are endless activities in which groups can take part.

Even a traditional bus tour in New York is more exciting when Big Apple flare is added. Last month, 260 meeting planners and industry suppliers attended SMU International (a Northstar Meetings Group event), and about 100 of them got the bus tour of a lifetime from The Ride NYC. The Ride is a bus tour on steroids. It's an interactive sightseeing trip in a multimillion dollar custom motor coaches with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and high-tech A/V featuring street performers, trivia games, and karaoke.

These ever-changing offerings keep groups coming to New York. The city welcomed an estimated 58.3 million visitors -- an all-time record for the destination. There were 46 million domestic and 12.3 million international visitors in 2015, both all-time highs. Hotel demand was also strong, with a record 33.7 million hotel room nights sold. Another record was set as New York City welcomed 6.1 million meeting and convention delegates last year, up from 6 million.

Not a city to rest on its laurels, "2015 marked a new milestone for NYC tourism," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. "As the safest and most exciting big city in America, we have so many rich offerings that continue to make the five boroughs a global draw."

The new Whitney Museum of American Art, Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, One World Observatory, Brookfield Place, Kings Theatre, and High Bridge were among the major attractions that opened last year.

"The city continues to evolve, always offering fresh reasons to visit again and again, with more new developments on the horizon," says NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.

A dramatic expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Center has been proposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Expected to increase the space by 1.2 million square feet, it would result in a fivefold increase in meeting and ballroom space.

"The Javits Center has long been an economic generator for this state, but we want to build and expand it to ensure it remains a premier venue for the next generation," said Governor Cuomo. "Through one of the most aggressive development plans in the history of the State of New York, we are transforming one of our largest convention centers into an unparalleled, world-class venue."

The planned expansion would bring the convention center to a whopping 3.3 million square feet. Plans are for a new exhibition hall and meeting rooms. There would also be 22,000 square feet of outdoor event space, which would join the convention center's existing green roof.
Give My Regards to Broadway
No trip to New York City is complete without seeing a Broadway show. Broadway Inbound, a wholesale theater ticketing, marketing, and operations company, is a valuable resource for meeting and incentive groups. A Shubert Organization company with decades of experience in the theater industry, travel, and wholesale ticket distribution, Broadway Inbound provides technology to give wholesale partners access to extensive inventory direct from venue box offices' primary ticketing systems.

With the most active hotel pipeline in the country, New York has more than 107,000 hotel rooms, expected to grow to 125,000 total rooms by 2018. Among the most recent renovations is the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, which underwent a redesign of its 44,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. At more than 18,000 square feet, the Grand Ballroom can accommodate more than 2,000 people for a reception. In addition, the hotel is modernizing all 667 guest rooms, completing its three-phase, $45 million renovation.

The InterContinental New York Barclay is set to reopen this spring after a $180 million renovation, bringing back the luxurious ambience of the original 1926 hotel. The Barclay will feature 704 guest rooms with 31 suites.

The Renwick is a new hotel on East 40th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Having originally opened as an artist's loft, The Renwick has 173 guest rooms featuring 33 custom suites and John DeLucie's first solo restaurant, Bedford & Co.

Among new developments in Lower Manhattan, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown will open mid-2016, featuring tailored meeting spaces and the city's first Wolfgang Puck CUT steakhouse; The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, will be an architectural gem with meeting space for up to 300 people and restaurants by Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally; and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, located on Brooklyn's waterfront with views of the Manhattan skyline, will feature a rooftop bar, event space, and the Sweet Grass Ballroom, for up to 400 people seated, when the hotel opens later this year.

After a multimillion-dollar transformation, Smyth, a Thompson Hotel, in partnership with Chef Andrew Carmellini's latest restaurant, Little Park, has a new dining and event space located in the lower level of the hotel. The 1,024-square-foot event space can accommodate up to 60 seated guests or 125 cocktailing.



Questions or comments? Email [email protected]



This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.

ESSENTIAL Tool Box
CONVENTION CENTERS & FACILITIES
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
(2.1 million sf)

ROOM TAX
14.75 percent, plus $3.50 per night


READERS RECOMMEND

Pinnacle Awards Go To:

 Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

WHERE TO…
DINE - Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C.
Designed by David Rockwell, Michael Jordan's The Steak House N.Y.C. is one of Grand Central Terminal's culinary hot spots. The restaurant's bar on the west balcony has also become a popular location for locals and tourists who want to sample top picks from the wine list or their latest seasonal cocktails.

PLAY - New York Pass
This tourism pass card provides admission to more than 80 attractions as well as discounts at certain retailers, restaurants, and shows. Its newest addition is the inclusion of a Big Bus New York Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with every New York Pass purchased.

MEET - Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square
Meetings held at this Times Square museum that is home to rare artifacts and unusual interactive exhibits will definitely be out of the ordinary. The largest Ripley's in North America, this one has more than 20 themed galleries with over 500 unique artifacts.


Give My Regards to Broadway
No trip to New York City is complete without seeing a Broadway show. Broadway Inbound, a wholesale theater ticketing, marketing, and operations company, is a valuable resource for meeting and incentive groups. A Shubert Organization company with decades of experience in the theater industry, travel, and wholesale ticket distribution, Broadway Inbound provides technology to give wholesale partners access to extensive inventory direct from venue box offices' primary ticketing systems.

With the most active hotel pipeline in the country, New York has more than 107,000 hotel rooms, expected to grow to 125,000 total rooms by 2018. Among the most recent renovations is the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, which underwent a redesign of its 44,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. At more than 18,000 square feet, the Grand Ballroom can accommodate more than 2,000 people for a reception. In addition, the hotel is modernizing all 667 guest rooms, completing its three-phase, $45 million renovation.

The InterContinental New York Barclay is set to reopen this spring after a $180 million renovation, bringing back the luxurious ambience of the original 1926 hotel. The Barclay will feature 704 guest rooms with 31 suites.

The Renwick is a new hotel on East 40th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Having originally opened as an artist's loft, The Renwick has 173 guest rooms featuring 33 custom suites and John DeLucie's first solo restaurant, Bedford & Co.

Among new developments in Lower Manhattan, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown will open mid-2016, featuring tailored meeting spaces and the city's first Wolfgang Puck CUT steakhouse; The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, will be an architectural gem with meeting space for up to 300 people and restaurants by Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally; and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, located on Brooklyn's waterfront with views of the Manhattan skyline, will feature a rooftop bar, event space, and the Sweet Grass Ballroom, for up to 400 people seated, when the hotel opens later this year.

After a multimillion-dollar transformation, Smyth, a Thompson Hotel, in partnership with Chef Andrew Carmellini's latest restaurant, Little Park, has a new dining and event space located in the lower level of the hotel. The 1,024-square-foot event space can accommodate up to 60 seated guests or 125 cocktailing.



Questions or comments? Email [email protected]



This article appears in the March 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.