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 May 14, 2014
New York City MICE Update

 With rising delegate numbers and hotel and venue development continuing at a rapid pace, the round-up below provides an update on New York City news relevant to the meeting and event industries.

New York City Sees Rise In Delegates

NYC & Company, New York City's official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation and convention bureau, has revealed a rise in meeting and convention delegates travelling to the city.

Preliminary research shows that delegate visits to New York City rose from 5.5 million in 2012 to 5.9 million in 2013, with delegate spending estimated at $7.3 billion -- up from $4.12 billion in 2012.

The figure is made up of domestic visitors travelling 50 miles or more and spending at least one night in the city, plus international delegates. China, the UK, Japan, France, Germany, Columbia and Brazil are amongst the top international markets for delegate travel to New York City.

Delegates visited New York City to attend events at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Piers 92 and 94, major hotels and other venues across the city.

NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon comments: "New York City is breaking visitation records year-on-year and we are on track to receive more than 55 million visitors to the five boroughs during 2014. Meeting and convention delegates are important contributors to this continuing success and we're delighted in particular to see the rise in international delegates who generally stay longer in the city."

Jerry Cito, Senior Vice President for Convention Development at NYC & Company adds: "We believe New York City is the best place in the world to do business and are committed to driving further increases by showcasing the variety, flexibility, value and excitement available when you Make it NYC."

New York City Venue Update

From ultra-modern skyscrapers to historic houses, New York City has a huge range of venues available to suit any group size, budget and style of event across all five boroughs of the city. Some recent and upcoming openings are listed below.

• Convene opened its fourth New York City conference space, 101 Park Avenue, in the Grand Central Terminal vicinity, in January 2014. The new location can serve groups from two to 160 and includes seven specialised meeting rooms designed to meet the needs of varying meeting types.

• Tavern on the Green, the landmark restaurant in Central Park, re-opened at the end of April 2014 following a two-year refurbishment. Housed in a historic building constructed in 1870, the restaurant is available for private and corporate events for 10 to 1,000 guests.

• Queens Museum re-opened in November 2013 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park after an extensive refurbishment which doubled its size to 100,000 square feet. The museum's collection includes a famous panorama of the City of New York and The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass along with permanent exhibitions on the two World's Fairs held in the Park 50 and 75 years ago. Events marking the anniversaries of these two major events are being held all summer long in Queens.

• Pier A Harbor House, located where Battery Park meets the Hudson River, is due to open in the summer of 2014. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated New York City landmark. It originally opened in 1886 and amongst its past uses was the VIP entrance for European Ambassadors travelling to Ellis Island. The third floor offers views of the Lower Manhattan waterfront and the Financial District skyline and is dedicated for special event use.

• The Rainbow Room, another iconic New York City venue, is scheduled to reopen at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the autumn of 2014. The re-opening comes 80 years after the venue was originally launched in 1934, becoming known as a hang-out for high society and A-list names. The Rainbow Room is situated on the 65th floor and its signature design elements including the famed crystal chandelier and revolving dance floor have been preserved. The venue can accommodate private events for up to 300 guests.

• One World Observatory will open at One World Trade Center in 2015. The Observatory will occupy floors 100 -- 102, approximately 1,250 feet above street level, offering 360-degree views of New York City and the surrounding region.

• Wave Hill House, part of Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural centre overlooking the Hudson River in the Bronx, re-opened in the summer of 2013 after undergoing transformative improvements to restore major portions of the historic mansion and provide state-of-the-art amenities for conferences and celebrations. The original house was built in 1843 in the style of an English country residence.

New York City Hotel Update

New York City ended 2013 with over 500 hotels and over 96,000 rooms as the city continued to expand its room stock. This year has already seen a number of new openings adding a further 1,000 rooms, and there are 34 new properties currently scheduled to open later in 2014 which will take the city to well over 100,000 rooms by year end. Hotel development is planned for all five New York City boroughs. Growing visitor figures kept hotel occupancy at over 87% during 2013 - the highest in the United States.

2014 hotel openings to date include CitizenM, Wyndham New Yorker, Be Hotel NYC, The Broome NYC, Hilton Garden Inn Central Park South, The William Hotel in Manhattan; and The Paper Factory Hotel, Crowne Plaza JFK and The Parc Hotel in Queens.

Upcoming openings for the remainder of 2014 include The Park Hyatt New York, a new build project on 57th Street close to other recent openings The Quin and The Viceroy and the long-established Le Parker Meridien. The Knickerbocker Hotel, also projected to open this summer, will join the Leading Hotels of the World following its opening in a historic property by Times Square. Starwood will open its third aloft branded hotel in Lower Manhattan -- aloft Financial District -- whilst Hilton has multiple properties under development.

Travel and Transportation Updates

• Norwegian is launching new flights to New York City from London Gatwick from July 2014. The budget carrier will operate three weekly services on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays beginning on 3rd July 2014.

• The Number 7 Subway Line in New York City is being extended west to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, directly opposite the Jacob K Javits Convention Centre on Manhattan's Far West Side. The new station will be a convenient addition for delegates attending events at NYC's largest convention facility and signifies the future development of what will be Manhattan's newest neighbourhood. New housing, restaurants and entertainment options are being planned for the area. The extended subway service is expected to commence in late 2014.

NYC & Company is the meeting planner's connection to New York City's 97,000 hotel rooms, one million square feet of exhibition and meeting space, affordable air and ground transportation, unrivalled dining, shopping, arts and entertainment offerings. As the official convention bureau, NYC & Company provides a complimentary and impartial service from New York City experts.

NYC & Company

NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation for the City of New York, dedicated to maximising travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.