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M.I.C.E. Venues

 February 11, 2003
Expansion Of The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center In New York

 Cristyne L. Nicholas, president & CEO of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing organization, said February 10: "The number-one concern of New York City's $25-billion travel and tourism industry is the expansion of the woefully inadequately-sized Javits Center.

An expanded Javits Center would be an invaluable economic engine, especially during these fiscally challenging times. Convention and tradeshow delegates are projected to spend $1 billion this year at the city's hotels, restaurants, retail stores, cultural organizations, theaters, tours and nightclubs. This money supports suppliers and employees in every neighborhood and all five boroughs and will generate more than $100 million in city and state taxes.

The Javits Center is currently ranked 18th in North America in terms of size when factoring in existing convention centers and already approved expansions. A plan to double the Javits' size to 1.6 million square feet of exhibition space would immediately move New York to fourth place on this list behind Chicago, Orlando and Las Vegas.

Currently, the Javits' space limitations prevent NYC from accommodating the nation's largest 63 conventions and trade shows - meetings that represent at least 5 million hotel room nights and 2.5 million new delegates which is a volume equal to the entire number of delegates we currently expect to welcome in 2003. At current estimates, these additional delegates represent another $1 billion in direct spending and $100 million in state and city tax revenues annually.

In addition to the 63 shows we simply cannot fit, we where in the unfortunate situation of turning away 62 additional shows that the Javits in fact could accommodate size-wise because of scheduling conflicts. These shows were worth more than $246 million. A Javits expansion would allow New York to host multiple large shows simultaneously and thus convert what otherwise would be lost business.

All of this translates into lost business, lost revenue, lost taxes and lost jobs for New York City and State. We stand ready to start booking billions of dollars in future conventions and tradeshows - many of which plan five to ten years out - the moment we receive a firm commitment for a Javits Center expansion. The time is right to make that commitment."