This week during IMEX America in Las Vegas, NYC & Company, New York City’s destination marketing organisation, is showcasing the “New” New York City to an influential audience of meeting planners from around the globe.
As one of the world’s most iconic meeting destinations, New York City continues to offer a wealth of classic and new hotel options, expansive meeting spaces and venues, only-in-NYC incentives and infrastructure upgrades, making the five boroughs a perfect draw for planners to Make it NYC.
“New York City is one of the world’s most desired and anticipated places for meeting planners looking to create dynamic meetings that stand out from the ordinary,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “With new and developing neighbourhoods, expanding hotel inventory, world-class venues and event spaces, the “new” New York City guarantees an unforgettable experience in one of the world’s most welcoming destinations.”
“We invite meeting planners and delegates to meet where they want to be and see how having a meeting in New York City is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Jerry Cito, NYC & Company’s senior vice president of Convention Development. “Whether it’s an iconic moment atop the Empire State Building or a team-building experience in Central Park, these and other only-in-NYC moments await those who choose to Make it NYC.”
Leading the growth of new venues is this year’s announcement by Governor Cuomo’s office of the Javits Center expansion, which will add more than 1.2 million square feet of event space in the coming years, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast at 60,000 square feet. Ground breaking for the expansion of the Javits Center will commence by year’s end.
In 2015 a record 6.1 million meeting and convention delegates visited the City’s five boroughs. In addition, New York City has the most active hotel pipeline in the country, with more than 110,000 hotel rooms throughout the five boroughs and 135,000 total hotel rooms expected by the end of 2019. Since January 2016, there have been more than 17 hotel openings, adding over 4,100 hotel rooms.
To support the City’s expanded meeting and convention offerings, there have been several new and upcoming infrastructure improvements. The 34th St./Hudson Yards subway station opened across from the Javits Center in September 2015, connecting delegates to Times Square and beyond via the 7 subway line. The state-of-the-art World Trade Center Transportation Hub, completed this past May, connects delegates in Lower Manhattan to 11 subway lines and trains to New Jersey via PATH.
By the end of December 2016, the Second Avenue Subway line extension is expected to open on Manhattan’s east side, while Citywide Ferry Service will provide delegates easy access to venues around 21 landings throughout the five boroughs by 2018. Late last month, Governor Cuomo unveiled the latest renderings for the redevelopment of Penn Station, expected to be modernised and expanded by the end of 2020. In addition, LaGuardia Airport broke ground this summer on a comprehensive redesign into a single main terminal and is expected to be rebuilt by 2022, complete with an AirTrain link to Manhattan. Free wireless Internet access throughout the City has been expanded, thanks to more than 500 state-of-the-art LinkNYCkiosks that have been installed throughout the five boroughs.
New York City’s neighborhoods have transformed into destinations in themselves. With the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks this year, Lower Manhattan has gone through a complete renaissance with brand-new hotels, the opening of the Westfield World Trade Center shopping complex in the Calatrava-designed Oculus, Brookfield Place luxury shops, One World Observatory, celebrity chef-owned restaurants and more.
Expected to debut late 2017 in Staten Island’s St. George neighborhood, New York City’s first outlet mall, Empire Outlets, will feature 1.1 million square-feet of retail space along with a 190-room boutique hotel. Alongside the outlets will be the 630-foot-tall New York Wheel, debuting in April 2018 as the tallest observation wheel in the world.
On the far west side of Manhattan, Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in our country’s history. With the initial phase opening this past May with the debut of 10 Hudson Yards, the site will have more than 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space, along with a 150-room luxury hotel, several restaurants, shops, meeting and cultural spaces such as The Shed, as well as an observation deck—all located across the street from the Javits Center. `
New and Renovated Hotels
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: Situated along Brooklyn’s picturesque waterfront, the 1 Hotel brand will open their second New York City hotel in February 2017. Featuring 194 guest rooms and suites, the hotel will offer a 3,475-square-foot rooftop, more than 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and a 50-person screening room. The hotel’s design takes inspiration from neighboring Brooklyn Bridge Park (1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge).
The William Vale Hotel: In early September 2016, the 183-room William Vale opened in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. The hotel offers several conference rooms and boardrooms, 15,000 square feet of public green space overlooking the Manhattan skyline, a 4,100-square-foot ballroom with pre-event space and a 22-story rooftop bar venue (thewilliamvale.com).
Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown: Opened late September 2016, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown brings a new level of luxury to Lower Manhattan. The hotel offers 185 guest rooms and suites, with over 6,815 square feet of meeting room space, including a 2,943-square-foot ballroom. Located inside the hotel, Cut by Wolfgang Puck, the celebrity chef’s first restaurant in New York City, is one of the City’s newest steakhouses (fourseasons.com/newyorkdowntown).
The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel: Opened late August 2016, The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, was restored from its former glory when it was built in 1881 as one of the City’s first skyscrapers. The hotel features 4,700 square feet of private meeting and event spaces, accompanied by a beautiful nine-story atrium and pyramidal skylight. In addition, the hotel features 287 guest rooms, 45 suites and two signature penthouses overlooking Lower Manhattan, as well as dining options from Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally (thompsonhotels.com/the-beekman).
InterContinental New York Barclay: After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, the iconic InterContinental New York Barclay in Midtown Manhattan reopened in April 2016, with seven meeting spaces at more than 15,000 square feet, as well as 704 redesigned guest rooms and 31 suites. The hotel features two brand-new ballrooms: the Grand Ballroom at 5,000 square feet (accommodates up to 450 people) and the Empire Ballroom at 3,500 square feet (up to 350 people), along with a unique lobby bar, The Gin Parlour, featuring 88 premium gins from around the world (intercontinentalnybarclay.com).
Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel: New York City’s first digitally enhanced hotel, located in the center of Manhattan’s Fashion District, opened in late March. As the Renaissance brand’s flagship property, the hotel features 4,500 square feet of event space, three breakout rooms and five event rooms. Along with its 348 guest rooms and interactive elements throughout the building, the hotel’s Rock & Reilly’s rooftop restaurant features 8,000 square feet of rooftop space (marriott.com).
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge: Capturing the vibrancy and excitement of Downtown Brooklyn, the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge’s $45 million transformation was completed earlier this month. The renovation included a complete redesign of the more than 40,000 square feet of banquet and meeting spaces. In addition, the lobby was reimagined with a new contemporary look, as well as the addition of the exclusive M Club Lounge and The Bar, featuring a menu that is authentically Brooklyn. The final project of the three-phase renovation included the modernization of the hotel’s 667 guest rooms and suites (marriott.com).
LaGuardia Plaza Hotel: Located just outside LaGuardia Airport in East Elmhurst, Queens, the LaGuardia Plaza Hotel went through extensive renovations in summer 2015. The hotel offers 12,500 square feet of flexible meeting space in addition to its 358 guest rooms and suites. It offers several well-appointed conference rooms as well as a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 350 guests (laguardiaplazahotel.com).
Studio and Event Spaces
Brooklyn EXPO Center: Located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood and accessible by multiple transportation options, the 60,000-square-foot Brooklyn EXPO Center opened in fall 2014. It features flexible banquet and exhibition space that is perfect for product launches, design shows and events for up to 2,200 people banquet style (brooklynexpocenter.com).
Convene Park Avenue: Earlier this summer, Convene opened its latest flexible meeting space at 237 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The spaces feature the conveniences of a full-service event venue, with areas that are customizable for screenings, TED talks, product launches and team-building activities (convene.com).
Metropolitan West: With 10- to-13-foot-high ceilings and an open floor plan, the recently renovated Metropolitan West in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen is an ideal adaptable event space. Overlooking the Hudson River on Manhattan’s west side, the venue offers 12,000 square feet of flexible space that can accommodate up to 712 guests, as well as catering and bar services (metropolitanevents.com).
Riviera at the World Trade Center: At 860 feet above the City, Riviera at the World Trade Center features 34,000 square feet of column-free space that can be customized for almost any kind of event. Located on the 68th floor of World Trade Center 4 in Lower Manhattan, this stunning venue is great for corporate outings, galas, fashion events and more (rivieracaterers.com).
One World Observatory: Located atop One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Observatory is one of the City’s most sought-after event spaces. The 102nd floor Horizon Level features over 9,000 square feet of flexible event space for up to 300 guests, complete with a picturesque backdrop of the City’s skyline that can make any event truly standout (oneworldobservatory.com).
Skylight Clarkson Square: In Manhattan’s west Soho neighborhood is one of the City’s newest and largest event spaces. With 60,000 square feet of versatile space, Skylight Clarkson Square is a historic venue that once served as the High Line’s most southern terminal and recently hosted New York Fashion Week. The space can accommodate up to 2,000 guests and comprises five studios that can be combined into one space. (skylightstudios.com/clarkson-sq).
Spring Studios: From hosting New York Fashion Week to the TriBeCa Film Festival, Spring Studios has been the home of several premium events in New York City. The venue features 150,000 square feet of versatile event space and 8 different studios including a private membership club and the largest roof venue in Manhattan. Spring Studios can host up to 2,000 guests in its well-appointed luxurious spaces (springstudios.com).
The Glasshouses: As one of Manhattan’s most unique event venue spaces in Chelsea, The Glasshouses feature two event spaces that provide unmatched views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan. Glasshouse 14 features 3,600 square feet of space, while Glasshouse 21 features 3,400 square feet of space with a balcony. Both levels can be rented together for up to 400 guests—perfect for cocktail parties and receptions (theglasshouses.com).
Ziegfeld Ballroom: The iconic Ziegfeld movie theater in Midtown Manhattan closed earlier this year, with plans to reopen in fall 2017 as a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. The space will be fully modernized and renovated to include mezzanine meeting rooms and state-of-the-art electronics, perfect for corporate events and galas. When complete, the Ziegfeld will be one of the largest ballrooms in the City, accommodating up to 1,200 people.
Weylin B. Seymour’s: Originally built in 1875 as a bank, this newly restored venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, can host events for up to 1,000 guests and features several beautifully designed spaces, including the Main Rotunda at 3,500 square feet, the Oculus Dome at 2,500 square feet and the Gallery on the ground floor at 5,900 square feet. Elegant domed ceilings, along with Victorian design throughout the space, make for a luxurious and unforgettable event venue (weylinbseymours.com).
Kings Theatre: After an extensive refurbishment, the renowned Kings Theatre reopened in Flatbush, Brooklyn in early 2015. The classic 20th-century theater is available to rent for corporate events, business meetings, cocktail receptions and more, featuring over 93,000 square feet of productive space. (kingstheatre.com).
Wave Hill House: Built in 1843, the historic Wave Hill House along the Hudson River is a hidden treasure in the Bronx. Just minutes away from Midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill features beautiful gardens and serene landscape, complete with flexible meeting and conference room spaces that were renovated in 2013. The 22-acre center can accommodate up to 175 guests for conferences, corporate retreats, lectures and events (wavehill.org).
NYC & Company members represented at IMEX America this year include
1 Hotels; ACCESS New York Metro; Alicart Restaurant Group; Alliance for Downtown New York; Briggs, Inc.; Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises; Convene; Fourth Wall Events; Gansevoort Hotel Group; Golden Touch Transportation; Hornblower Cruises & Events; Hotel Edison; InterContinental New York Barclay; The Lexington New York City; New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge; The New York Pass, Park Central Hotel; The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York; The Ride; Rockefeller Center; The Roosevelt Hotel NYC; Row NYC; Shackman Associates New York and YOTEL New York.
For more information on planning a meeting or event in New York City, visit nycgo.com/makeitnyc. To contact a member of NYC & Company’s Destination Services team, visit nycandcompany.org/destinationservices.