Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
SUFFERING RECORD LOSSES, SUPPLIERS GET
CREATIVENYC Scrambles for Visitors
Near ground zero: Lower Manhattan's Millenium Hilton has
not set a date to reopen following Sept. 11.PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FEMA
At ground zero of a battered industry, hotels and
tourism groups in New York City are initiating a barrage of efforts
to restore confidence among travelers. Most expect, however, the
road to recovery will be long.
While hotels have reported some return of clients since Sept.
11, rates are "way down" from last year and from pre- attack
levels, said Sean Hennessey, director of hospitality consulting at
PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Hotels are gaining back the demand, but it
is coming at a cost."
Lower rates are expected to continue, he said. "There will be
strong pressure on room rates well into 2002."
Hardest hit have been boutique and luxury hotels, added
Hennessey, a trend prior to Sept. 11. He also predicted up to 10
hotels will file for bankruptcy.
Some properties are recouping losses by renting out space to
corporations. Among them are the Sheraton New York and Sheraton
One unprecedented move was an arrangement worked out by Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani and Delta Air Lines to give away 10,000 airline
tickets to the city.
Actions taken by the Hotel Association of New York City include
a work-sharing agreement that allows employees to voluntarily
reduce work hours to avoid others from being laid off.
As to how long these efforts will go on, Joseph E. Spinnato,
president of the Hotel Association, said, "It's going to last as
long as it takes to get the city back to 85 to 88 percent
occupancy. That's not going to happen until people get back on
• CARLA BENINI
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