Overlooking Manhattan, on the Queens side of the East River, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city will reach a record 90,000 hotel rooms by year’s end – a clear message that people still love New York.
The mayor made the announcement on the rooftop of the newly opened Z NYC Hotel in Long Island City, where he was joined by State Senator Michael Gianaris, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and Z NYC owner Henry Zilberman.
“More people want to visit New York City than ever before, and with a record 90,000 rooms, we have great places for them to stay,” the mayor said. “That’s good news not just for tourists, but also for the city’s economy. Our tourism sector employs 323,000 people, and those jobs are now increasingly located outside Manhattan, as tourists want to visit all of the city’s great neighborhoods.”
The mayor also said that 40 percent of the city’s new hotel openings are taking place in the outer boroughs – a fact that makes sense considering a majority of out-of-state and out-of-country visitors come via Queens’ airports.
“When people see the city, they start with Queens,” he said. “So it makes sense that they would look for restaurants and hotels in Queens.”
And all of those tourists mean revenue for the city. Last year, the city welcomed a record 48.8 million visitors who collectively spent $31 billion – meanwhile, the city is on track to break that same record this year.
Arguably, tourists are staying in and attracted to L.I.C. more than any other Queens neighborhood. There are now 17 hotels in L.I.C. with 1,500 rooms. Five more properties and 650 rooms are currently under construction. Major hotel brands in the western Queens neighborhood include Four Points by Sheraton Long Island City; Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View; Country Inn & Suites; Holiday Inn Long Island City; and opening next month, the Wyndham Garden Long Island City.
There are also independent properties such as Ravel, the Queensboro Hotel, the Verve Hotel and Z NYC.
“L.I.C.’s popularity is rising because it’s an incredibly cool place and it gets cooler every day,” said Zilberman. “It’s close to shopping in Manhattan; it’s affordable, quiet and safe. It’s all about proximity and you can be in the city or the airport in less than 15 minutes.”