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MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ALL OF LOWER MANHATTAN TO VISITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

NYC & Company-Designed Campaign to Highlight Downtown Attractions, Shops, Restaurants and Hotels – to be Unveiled in Full Next Week at Annual U.S. Tourism Conference – Will Begin June 1

9/11 Memorial Will Draw Visitors to Lower Manhattan Beginning in September

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced New York City will launch a global communications and marketing campaign designed to promote Lower Manhattan to visitors and worldwide travel media. The campaign will encourage visitors to stay in Lower Manhattan’s hotels, eat in its restaurants, shop in its stores and get a glimpse of all of what the neighborhood has to offer. Lower Manhattan continues to grow with new residents, businesses, cultural attractions and open space, and the 9/11 Memorial will begin welcoming visitors in September 2011. The campaign will feature Lower Manhattan travel itineraries, special hotel offers, and other deals, and it will use outdoor media ads, a taxicab TV spot and a print campaign at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Mayor Bloomberg was joined at the announcement, which was held at Bayard’s at Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan, by NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Margaret Chin, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin, National September 11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels, Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin, Alliance for Downtown New York President Elizabeth Berger and Trust for Governors Island President Leslie Koch.

“In less than four months time, the eyes of the world will be on Lower Manhattan, as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and open the Memorial,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “An important part of the story of 9/11 is how Lower Manhattan – an area many people said Osama Bin Laden’s attack would turn into a ghost town – has come back in the past 10 years. As the population doubled downtown, an incredible number of new restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions opened, and today Lower Manhattan is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in New York City. Our new campaign will help ensure visitors from around the world know about that vibrancy and have an opportunity to take advantage of all that Lower Manhattan has to offer.”

The NYC & Company-designed campaign will launch on June 1. It will include an array of travel itineraries; hotel offers promoting weekend stays with a Downtown Culture Pass and late check-out; 20 percent off offers at Lower Manhattan shops, restaurants, attractions and cultural institutions; outdoor media ads promoting Lower Manhattan throughout the City’s five boroughs; a taxicab TV spot promoting Lower Manhattan; a new global social media initiative to highlight attractions and events in Lower Manhattan; and an initiative to promote Lower Manhattan to meeting planners. A new welcome program at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 4 will also debut in June with colorful and vibrant posters, wall clings and column wraps showing imagery of the City with a particular emphasis on Lower Manhattan. The campaign will encourage visitors to stay in Lower Manhattan, and, for those who stay elsewhere, it will encourage them to travel downtown by mass transit.

George Fertitta, the CEO of NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, will unveil the campaign details on May 24 at the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow conference in San Francisco before an audience of top international travel writers, tour operators, tourism leaders and representatives from other US destinations.  He will be joined by National September 11 Memorial and Museum President Joe Daniels, who will discuss how to plan a visit to the Memorial and the logistics around the opening of the Memorial.

“The progress at the World Trade Center site has been remarkable, but the transformation of the neighborhood around it over the last decade might be even more extraordinary,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “The vision Mayor Bloomberg laid out years ago for Lower Manhattan as a bustling, 24/7 neighborhood with new residents, businesses and visitors has become a reality, and we want to make sure the world – including those who come to visit the 9/11 Memorial – know about it.”

“In the months and weeks leading up to tenth anniversary of the September 11 and the opening of the 9/11 memorial, Lower Manhattan will be a focal point for the world,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “We are prepared and look forward to welcoming visitors and locals to Lower Manhattan and encourage them to experience a neighborhood that has seen a dramatic revitalization in the last decade.”

“Lower Manhattan has come roaring back,” said Speaker Silver. “We are so much more than just the business and financial capital of the world. As our population has continued to soar, we have transformed our community by building new schools, new parks, retail and world-class cultural attractions that have made Lower Manhattan a premier destination. We look forward to welcoming even more tourists this fall when the 9/11 Memorial opens and I encourage all of our visitors to stay in the neighborhood, shop at our stores, eat in our excellent restaurants and come back again soon.”

“As we approach the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and the opening of the Memorial, Lower Manhattan will soon become a symbolic and literal gathering point for the world’s attention,” said Congressman Nadler.  “As New Yorkers, we welcome visitors with open arms, and we encourage their patronage of the many stores, restaurants, and cultural sites that Lower Manhattan offers.  As the birthplace of New York, Lower Manhattan remains the proverbial center of our great city and we should rejoice in its growth and rejuvenation.”

“Lower Manhattan is a world-class neighborhood and an extraordinary local community,” said State Senator Squadron. “Our businesses and residents represent the best of our City’s vibrancy and strength, and this new campaign will illustrate that for the world. From restaurants and attractions, to sightseeing and shopping, we continue to rebuild and grow, making Lower Manhattan the perfect place for visitors and New Yorkers alike to experience our City.”

“Lower Manhattan is a great neighborhood to visit because it truly is the world in a neighborhood,” Council Member Chin. “It is iconic, eclectic, and diverse. In lower Manhattan you can feel the hustle and bustle on the streets of Chinatown, get a taste of Italy, take in the cast-iron architecture of Soho, eat and sleep at five star accommodations in Tribeca, and walk the most famous street in the world: Wall Street. This September, we will open the 9/11 Memorial Plaza and millions of visitors will experience first-hand the strength, perseverance, and spirit of the lower Manhattan community. This September we start a new chapter in the story of lower Manhattan post-September 11th. I am proud to represent this great neighborhood and ready to show that lower Manhattan is stronger today than it has ever been.”

On September 12, the 9/11 Memorial will open to the public. During the interim period when the 9/11 Memorial is surrounded by World Trade Center construction, access will be managed through a free online timed reservation system. The 9/11 Memorial is taking major steps to help minimize the impact of charter tour buses on the Lower Manhattan community by working with the tourism industry to set up a Transportation Partners Program. Transportation Partners offer non-tour bus modes of travel, such as ferries and hop-on hop-off buses which do not require parking. Group visitors will be encouraged to use Transportation Partner to travel to the Memorial. Through the timed reservation system and the Transportation Partners Program, visitors can build itineraries that encourage them to experience other historic sites and attractions in Lower Manhattan.

“This September the public will be able to pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial and stand in the heart of the World Trade Center site, witnessing the historic rebuilding taking place around them,” said 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels. “We look forward to helping the public plan their visit to the Memorial and we will encourage them to take advantage of all that Lower Manhattan has to offer.”

 Lower Manhattan will be enlivened by events of all types again this summer. The latest public art exhibit in City Hall Park, Sol LeWitt: Structures, 1965-2006, the first outdoor career survey of sculptures by Sol LeWitt featuring 27 works, some as tall as 26 feet, will open next week. Governors Island will again feature a diverse array of art exhibits, cultural and recreational programs that are free to the public, including the exhibition Mark di Suvero at Governors Island: Presented by the Storm King Art Center, the largest outdoor presentation of di Suvero’s sculpture to be shown in New York City since 1975. The 10th anniversary of the River to River Festival, Lower Manhattan’s largest free summer arts festival, will once again featuring music, film, dance, theatre and art in a variety of public venues. For a calendar of events, visit nyc.gov.

“New York City is home to the greatest art and culture in the world, and our creativity defines our identity as an international destination,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Levin.  "From museums and theaters to performing arts festivals, the City supports a thriving arts community south of Canal Street and is poised to welcome even more audiences to experience our dynamic cultural offerings this year and for years to come.”

“With all the work being done at the World Trade Center, we are continuing to focus on strengthening the City’s commercial core in Lower Manhattan, making investments to enliven and enhance the financial and physical environment for the commercial sector, improve the quality-of-life for the growing residential population, and augment the experience of the millions of visitors to Lower Manhattan,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinksy.

Since 2001, Lower Manhattan has experienced remarkable growth, including in number of visitors and in hospitality-related services. Nearly 20 hotels with an estimated 5,000 hotel rooms currently comprise the Downtown area and three new hotels with a total of 769 rooms will debut later this year. Several new hotels have already opened their doors in Lower Manhattan including The World Center Hotel, The Andaz Wall Street, W New York – Downtown and the DoubleTree by Hilton New York City—Financial District. In addition, SHO Shaun Hergatt, the Libertine Restaurant, The Capital Grille Wall Street and luxury brands like Hermes have recently opened joining long-time Lower Manhattan businesses including Bayard’s, Adrienne’s Pizza Bar, the South Street Seaport shops and Cipriani Wall Street. To help visitors with their Lower Manhattan itineraries Official NYC Information Kiosks are located in Chinatown and at City Hall Plaza. 

“With the impending opening of the 9/11 Memorial in September, there will be millions of tourists coming to Ground Zero,” said Community Board Chair Julie Menin. “This marketing campaign will show the world the remarkable ability of this community's rebuilding and the treasure trove of museums, restaurants and stores in Lower Manhattan.

“Lower Manhattan today is the model for a new kind of round-the-clock, global, mixed-use business district where people live, work and play,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “Thirty billion dollars in public and private investment in the last decade has created thousands of new apartments, acres of new parks, five new ferry landings, two European-style restaurant rows, hundreds of exciting retailers and a fantastic roster of hotels, triple the number we had 10 years ago. And, as a result of all of this activity, 9 million people visited Lower Manhattan last year – a 26 percent jump from 2008 – and our population has more than doubled to 56,000 over the last decade. For 400 years, we’ve mastered the art of reinvention in Lower Manhattan – and we’ve always prevailed as an active innovative center of urban life. Here’s to 400 more.”     

Tourism to New York City’s five boroughs reached record levels in 2010 with 48.7 million visitors and $31 billion in visitor spending.  NYC & Company estimates that the City will achieve Mayor Bloomberg’s goal 50 million annual visitors by 2012. Tourism is the City’s fifth largest industry, supporting 320,000 jobs in the City’s hospitality & leisure sector.

As a result of conversations with businesses and a city-wide survey, a series of initiatives aimed at stimulating commercial development in Lower Manhattan are being finalized by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.  The first initiative is a Lower Manhattan Business Expansion Program that will help fund small and medium-sized companies with plans to relocate to or expand their operations in Lower Manhattan as well as an annual Seed Star Competition that will help attract high-potential entrepreneurs to launch their businesses Downtown. Based on the findings of the feasibility study, Water Street will be revitalized into a pedestrian friendly boulevard with possible improvements such as median and street furniture.  And new funds are being devoted to expand arts and cultural programming Downtown.

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Contact:                   

Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent 212 788-2958

Kimberly Spell/Tiffany Townsend (NYC & Company) 212 484-1270