The area, which includes many of the city’s iconic sights, will benefit from major new family attractions and hotels opening in 2017 and 2018. Chris Heywood, NYC & Company’s senior vice-president, global communications, said: “By the end of this year we will have five new major immersive, interactive family-friendly attractions.”
Among them are the Gulliver’s Gate model world, the spy museum and experience Spyscape HQ, and the Opry City Stage – the first time that Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry has opened a music and eating attraction outside its home city. Also new is the NFL Experience Times Square and National Geographic Encounter, an immersive virtual reality attraction that simulates the world beneath the oceans.
“Any visitor would want to pick at least one of these things to do,” said Heywood.
Midtown is also benefiting from new hotel openings, including the 612-room mid-range Moxy, which debuted in September and boasts the city’s largest hotel rooftop lounge. Also new is The Edition on lower Madison Avenue, a joint venture between Ian Schrager and Marriott. Key developments away from Midtown include the first Hoxton Hotel in the US, due to open in Williamsburg and the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.
“We have the most active hotel pipeline in the country; we have 114,000 rooms, but by 2019, we will have 138,000,” said Heywood.
A key 2018 development for the UK market will be the spring opening of Empire Outlets on Staten Island, with more than 100 shops near the ferry terminal. Heywood said this would be a big draw for British tourists.
NYC & Company hopes the attractions and the growth of low-cost flights will offset any downturn in UK visitors.
“Last year we received 1.2 million and we’re waiting to see how 2017 will shape up,” said Heywood. “We are a little bit concerned about the effects of Brexit, so we’re highlighting affordability. There’s an extraordinary amount of low-cost airlines coming into the market – it’s good news for the consumer.”