There has never been a shortage of things to do and places to stay in New York City, but “the city that never sleeps” also never rests on its laurels. Clients planning to visit The Big Apple next summer – repeat visitors in particular – should be interested to know about several significant developments under way. Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s official destination marketing arm, was among those on hand at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Wednesday morning to highlight some of what Dixon calls “an abundance of blockbuster openings.” He was joined by Chris Heywood, the organization’s senior VP of global communications, and Glenn Lowry and Sarah Suzuki, director and curator, respectively, of MoMA.
WorldPride will come to the U.S. for the first time ever next June, and New York will be the host city. The majority of the month-long celebration’s events will take place June 25-30, 2019, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a seminal moment in the LGBTQ pride movement. Dixon revealed a promotional effort to showcase 2019 as a “Year of Pride,” alongside colorful new artwork promoting New York City under the banner “Pride. Uncontained.” It’s fitting that WorldPride will be preceded by the May opening of the new 26,000-square-foot Statue of Liberty Museum in the shadow of the great statue that symbolizes freedom, equality and compassion.
Also next summer, Hudson Yards, at the northern end of Manhattan’s elevated linear park, The High Line, will unveil The Shed, a multi-arts/multi-media center, and Vessel, a climbable, 15-story urban landmark of interconnected stairways with 80 landings. Hudson Yards will also be home to a Neiman Marcus flagship store, an Equinox-branded luxury hotel, 16 new dining experiences curated by celebrity chefs, and the city’s highest outdoor observation deck – nearly a quarter of a mile above street level.
The Big Apple, which has the most active hotel development pipeline in the world, will add more than 19,000 hotels rooms by the end of 2019, bringing the total to nearly 137,000. This is in response to 40 consecutive months of demand, with a record 38 million-plus room nights expected by the end of 2018. New York City currently has the highest occupancy rate (88 percent on average) in the country. The city welcomed 62.8 million visitors last year, marking eight consecutive years of record-breaking tourism.
Hotel openings in the second half on 2018 will include Times Square Edition; CitizenM and Spanish AC in downtown Manhattan; two new Moxy locations (Chelsea and downtown); and the Ace-affiliated Sister City in the Bowery. Brooklyn will see the debut of such independent properties as Baltic Huis, The Hoxton and the Bond Hotel.
There will be plenty to attract visitors to the outer boroughs as well. In Brooklyn, Domino Park debuted earlier this month on Williamsburg’s waterfront and the new “Ocean Wonders: Sharks!” exhibit will open June 30 at the New York Aquarium. The Bronx’s Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is being renovated and expanded and, in Jamaica, Queens, the new TWA Hotel will open in April at JFK Airport, which itself is undergoing a makeover and expansion.
This November, Staten Island will welcome the 100-store waterfront Empire Outlets, NYC’s only outlet destination, adjacent to the ferry terminal. Shopaholics among your clientele should also take note of the city’s first Neiman Marcus store, which will be part of the aforementioned Hudson Yards complex, and Nordstrom, which opened its first full-line men’s store at 57th Street and Broadway in April, will open a flagship women’s store in fall 2019.
Meanwhile, back at MoMA, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary next year, a major renovation and expansion is under way. The first phase was recently completed and the second is expected to be wrapped up by summer 2019. The project will increase gallery space by 30 percent and enhance public spaces. Phase two will includes new street-level galleries; a fully customized studio space for media, performance and film; and a sixth-floor lounge with an outdoor terrace. The entire first floor will continue to be open to the public, free of charge, including the new galleries.
Upcoming promotions of interest to visitors and residents alike include the biannual Broadway Week and Off-Broadway Week. For the former, two-for-one tickets go on sale August 15 form performances September 3-16. The same deal applies for Off-Broadway tickets that go on sale September 10 for show September 24-October 7. The offers will be repeated early in 2019. Restaurant Weeks every January/February and July/August offer discounted prix-fixe menus at more than 350 restaurants.