Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that that the city would be raking in $70 billion from tourists four years from now, as the administration and NYC & Company continue to ramp up tourism to the city. Spending last year amounted to $32.5 billion, and $48.5 billion in economic impact, from a record 50.5 million tourists.
This got The Observer thinking, and, as often happens when we get to thinking, we we got to worrying.
At current rates, wouldn’t it take, given diminishing returns, another 25 million tourists or so to reach the target spending levels by 2015? Think Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge are bad now? Imagine them 50 percent more crowded. Oh, the humanity. (There would certainly be a lot of humanity around.)
But it turns out we had it backwards. This is not a case of diminishing returns but compounding ones.
on the waterfront
Since it opened in 2006, around this time each year, a press release would shoot out from Governor’s Island, a torpedo blasting across the harbor, trumpeting the latest attendance numbers. The ice-cream-cone-shaped island, for most of its life an off-limits military compound, had reason to crow. It’s visitor’s numbers were soaring, putting to rest questions of its viability as a new public park—purchased for all of $1 from the U.S. government in 2005. From 26,000 visitors that first year, attendance jumped to 443,000 last year, 60 percent what it had been the year before.
This year, there has been no press release, no champagne.
Tales of Retail
It may be the worst shopping experience after the Trader Joe’s in Union Square. Still, when Century 21 is good, it’s really good. Dress shoes, bow ties, and some of the best clearance deals in town—if you can stand slapdash shelves and crammed clothes racks, the flood of tourists fighting for clothes and the woefully indifferent staff, the store can be a goldmine.
These problems could be disappearing as Century 21 plans to expand its downtown flagship in the coming months, according to Crain’s. Well, everything except for the rudeniks behind those red aprons.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The latest in our series on the neighborhoods of New York City. Previously, Hell’s Foyer.
A model who lives in Tribeca scoffed when we asked what he thought about Venice, Manhattan. “Venice? I don’t think so,” said Anderson Ribeiro, 31. “It’s so dirty, and there are all kinds of people selling a slew Read More
Thirty years ago, John Lennon was gunned down outside his Central Park West home, so it stands to reason the Dakota would have decent security.
Apparently not, as Yoko Ono bumped into a Korean tourist who had snuck into the building to snap pictures on the roof. (It is pretty picturesque up there.) Read More
under the bridge
Those effete, entitled Brooklynites are at it again. Now they want tour buses all but banned from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The issue, according to The Brooklyn Paper, is not the tourists themselves–never!–but the fact that the streets surrounding the waterfront have gotten clogged with tour buses, double- and triple-parked ever since the Read More
on the waterfront
What good is a brand-new waterfront park if you can’t enjoy it in peace? That is the complaint surrounding Brooklyn Bridge Park, which opened last year and was one of the best projects of 2010.
According to the Daily News, the city convinced those tourist-thronged helicopter tours not to hover over the park Read More
It is bad enough that slow-moving tourists clog up the city’s sidewalks, Abercrombie and Century 21 bags bulging at their sides like pack animals. Imagine navigating the city’s streets and bike lanes when a new bike-sharing program rolls out in 2012.
The program was announced today by the city’s Department of Transportation, which is Read More
The cops roving around subway stations just got their rides majorly pimped. The New York Daily News reports that the NYPD Transit bureau has purchased 13 T3 transporters, three-wheeled electric scooters that resemble the famous/infamous Segway. Four of the vehicles are currently in use.
The officers lucky enough to snag one of these choice Read More