by Lisa A. Grimaldi | April 01, 2014
Why Here?
With dozens of hotels in the pipeline in New York City, new properties in upstate communities, a long-awaited convention center under way in Albany and the prospect of four new gaming resorts, the Empire State offers more group appeal than ever.

Albany News
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has approved plans for the Albany Capital Center. The $66 million meeting and conference facility, to break ground this year, will have 82,000 square feet space and be linked to the Dewitt Clinton Hotel, which is now being refurbished and will be reflagged as a Renaissance property in 2015.

Resort Gamble
Last fall, voters in the state approved a plan to allow up to seven gaming resorts to be built, with the first four in upstate communities. At press time, a committee was reviewing applications from developers.

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Local Update

• The 379-room Loews Regency Hotel in New York City has reopened after a yearlong, $100 million renovation. The property has four private meeting spaces and a 1,700-square-foot fitness center. A new restaurant, the Regency Bar & Grill, serves breakfast (including the hotel's famous power breakfast), lunch and dinner.

• The 1,083-room New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan has been reflagged as the Wyndham New Yorker. The property is in the midst of a renovation of its guest rooms, public spaces and meeting rooms. At present, the hotel has approximately 25,000 square feet of meeting space, which the revamp will expand by more than 5,000 additional square feet. Stay tuned for further details.

• The 240-room Viceroy New York opened in Midtown Manhattan in late 2013. The 29-story property has two meeting rooms plus a rooftop with indoor and outdoor event spaces. Among the hotel's other offerings are an indoor plunge pool, and complimentary wireless and wired high-speed Internet in all guest rooms and public spaces.

• The 487-room Hyatt Times Square New York debuted last fall. The hotel has 2,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, a rooftop lounge and a diner.

• The 378-room Courtyard by Marriott Central Park and the 261-room Residence Inn Central Park, which share the same 68-story building, are now open. The hotels also share 6,000 square feet of meeting space and a fitness center.

• The 210-room Park Hyatt New York is set to debut in a 90-story mixed-use tower in Midtown Manhattan this year. The luxury property will include a bar and restaurant, a spa and 8,000 square feet of event space.

• The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has finished a four-year, $465 million renovation. New features include a 110,000-square-foot expansion called Javits North, a 240,000-square-foot glass curtain wall, a 6.25-acre green roof and more. The center has a total of 102 meeting rooms and 840,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Convene, which operates three conference centers in the Big Apple, has opened a fourth facility on Park Avenue near Grand Central Station. The venue has seven meeting rooms.

Meeting Hotels: Major properties in the Big Apple include the 1,981-room New York Hilton-Midtown, 1,946-room New York Marriott Marquis, 1,781-room Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, 1,311-room Grand Hyatt New York, 1,235-room Waldorf Astoria, 1,015-room Roosevelt Hotel and 863-room Westin New York at Times Square.

To compare hotels and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center; exhibit space, approximately 840,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 102; (212) 216-2000;

Airport Transit: John F. Kennedy International Airport, 15 miles from Midtown. Transfer cost by taxi to midtown Manhattan, $52.50 plus tolls

LaGuardia Airport, about eight miles from Midtown Manhattan. Transfer cost by taxi to Midtown, $29-$37 plus tolls

Taxes: Room tax, 5.875% plus $3.50 per room, per night; sales tax, 8.875%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.75% plus $3.50 per room, per night

Group Venue: Arrange a private reception for groups of up to 122 people at Bar 54, atop the new 487-room Hyatt Times Square New York. The space includes an outdoor terrace overlooking the square -- the perfect spot for attendee "selfies" with the city's iconic skyline in the background. (646) 364-1234;

Contact: NYC & Company, (212) 484-1200;