Tag Archives: Tourism

BP Katz talks branding Queens at LIC Partnership breakfast


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Long Island City welcomed Borough President Melinda Katz with open arms—and coffee.

The Long Island City Partnership held a breakfast at the CUNY School of Law for Katz on Feb.27 to welcome her to the thriving western Queens community.

“She is no stranger to any of us in this room, nor to this community. She has been and really is Queens,” Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said as he introduced Katz. “For the next eight years, Borough President Katz is going to make sure there is a vision and the know-how to get that vision accomplished.”

During the breakfast, the borough president spoke about future plans for Long Island City and the overall borough — highlighting the importance of branding the area, cultural institutions, marketing and tourism.

“We’re nothing like the other boroughs, we are our own borough,” Katz said. “We may want to make the rest of the borough like Long Island City, maybe, but we’re not going to make it the new Brooklyn, we stand on our own.”

Katz said she is working with Van Bramer to come up with an overall plan for Long Island City, including bringing small start-up tech industries and improving the transportation system.

“Cultural institutions will brand this borough, not only the restaurants and the shopping,” she said. “Folks need to know that if they come to the City of New York and they have not visited the borough of Queens, they have not seen New York City.”

In her plan she also hopes to work with hotels in Manhattan in order for visitors to be given a script of different events happening in Queens. The borough president also plans on creating a cultural guide to give out during the 1964 World’s Fair 50-year commemoration.

“I am excited about the future here,” she said.

 

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All-Star Game may be boom for Queens business


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Citi Field

Businesses owners are hoping that the 2013 MLB All-Star Game will hit one over the fence.

As baseball fans everywhere flock to the 84th All-Star Game next year at Citi Field, Queens businesses are prepping for the influx of customers.

“It gives Queens a huge national event. We’re planning to promote ‘the All-Star Game comes to Queens’ not to New York City,” said Rob MacKay, an executive committee member on the Queens Tourism Council, an arm of the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC).

He added, “We’re very excited about it. It can bring an economic boom to the borough.”

Last week at a press conference to officially announce the Mets will host the All-Star celebration in July, 2013 — which includes the Home Run Derby, Fan Fest and the Celebrity All-Star Game — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the event would draw in more than 175,000 fans and about $192 million to the city.

“It’s a good chance for us to A: bring people to our hotels, and then B: get those tourists to stay in Queens,” MacKay said.

It will be the second time ever the “Midsummer Classic” comes to the Mets, after its 1964 visit for Shea Stadium’s inaugural season.

MacKay hopes that fans stay at hotels in Queens over Manhattan and will then shop and visit restaurants, bars and various significant sites around the borough.

“It’s going to be huge. I’m extraordinarily excited,” said Brain Begos, general manager of McFadden’s bar across from Citi Field, who added he expects to have loads of customers from the events. “It’s great for New York, great for Queens, great for the Mets and great for McFadden’s.”

But there’s a curveball.

Edwin Rodriguez, a market manager at travel agency Expedia for the NYC metro area, researched the All-Star Game four years ago at Yankee Stadium and said the game may not bring as much business as expected.

“Expedia’s numbers show that MLB All-Star Games do not bring in huge amounts of compression for their host cities,” Rodriguez said. “All-Star Games typically don’t have the excitement that the World Series or Super Bowl would bring to a city.”

Rodriguez also said that during the 2008 All-Star Game, Bronx hotels only saw limited economic increases because the borough only had a few hotels, so most fans stayed in Manhattan.

That’s where MacKay said Queens has the upper hand, since there are about 90 hotels throughout the borough.

“We have luxury hotels that are as good as Manhattan, but $150 less,” he said.

MacKay said the Tourism Council has already begun discussing how to create packages for the hotels with various local businesses, such as “Borough Excursions,” to help fans enjoy Queens while they enjoy the baseball festivities.

“July and August are usually rough months for Queens hotels. So it’s coming at a perfect time,” MacKay said. “This is obviously a great opportunity and we’re not going to miss it.”

Mayor Bloomberg Announces City Will Have Record Number of Hotel Rooms


| smosco@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Steve Mosco

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.”