Data from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that Omicron has peaked in NYC. Positive tests and emergency room visits are both diving down, with the Bronx seeing a drop of 35% in cases requiring hospitalization. Governor Hochul notes the decrease and is considering letting the statewide mask mandate lapse February 2nd. Washington Post charts show Omicron's dramatically lower severity. Given the strong parallels to South Africa's experience with Omicron, we join the Governor in optimism that February will bring vastly improved conditions for city activities. Additional good news for NYC includes:
- The Times Square Alliance pedestrian count for December was up 133% over 2020. Although not yet back to 2019 levels, the neighborhood map shows major spikes in foot traffic compared to a year ago.
- Frommer's lists NYC among its 2022 places to go. Pointing to recent additions to the city, the travel guide has NYC among a select list of recommended U.S. destinations. In addition, TravelPulse notes NYC as one of the safest U.S. places to travel, calling attention to our Covid precautions.
- Real estate investment is rushing back to the city. Fears of an NYC exodus have been fully extinguished and even the office market is rebounding, with office leasing back to 2019 levels. The investment sales market hasn't been this high since 2018. And look out SoHo and Williamsburg—the blockchain tycoons are converting crypto to New York real estate.
Polling shows that Omicron's effects are shallow for most Americans. Comfort levels toward going to the movies hasn't changed, across all generations (despite the pandemic, Spider-Man: No Way Home is the second-highest domestic film opening ever). TV news viewers aren't taking much interest in Covid despite the spike. Omicron is hammering the European hotel market, but China and the U.S. are exceeding expectations. A Bank of America report out Monday predicts the U.S. hotel sector will be only 2% below 2019 levels by the end of the year. Further evidence of the rebound in NYC includes:
- NoMad's exhale® spa reopened this week, will launch medical spa treatments in March
- On Location Tours brings back its Sex and the City Hotspots Tour
- Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park is bringing back its popular Bumper Cars on Ice beginning Friday
- Top Chef's Fabio Viviani opens his first NYC restaurant, Bar Cicchetti, at Motto Chelsea on January 18th
- Harriet’s Rooftop at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge hosts its first-ever Polar Lounge installation with glasses and seating made of ice; opens January 21
- Williamsburg music hall National Sawdust returns to live performances February 4th
- Brooklyn Museum unveils the reinstallation of its European art collection on February 4
- City's first authentic Singapore hawker center coming to Midtown West
- Hôtel Barrière Le Fouquet's opening in Tribeca later this year
The Garment District Alliance has unveiled Passage, a pedestrian tunnel with interactive light and sound features. You can find it on Broadway between 39th and 40th through February 13th. Created by Serge Maheu, with fabrication and assembly by Félix Ménard. Photo credit: Alexandre Ayer / @DiversityPics for the Garment District Alliance.
Links of Interest
- Hochul backs permanent legalization of to-go cocktails as part of recovery plan
- Post reports on cash-strapped 9/11 Museum
- Aman New York makes CNN Travel's best new hotels to book in 2022
- Reliance to buy controlling stake in Mandarin Oriental New York
- Traditional Broadway model may have to change to accommodate Covid closures
- Broadway extends mask and vaccination policy through April 30th
- Latest dates for Broadway and Off Broadway
- Comptroller releases report on uphill recovery for restaurant, retail, and recreation sectors
- Intersect by Lexus ends its Meatpacking Run on Saturday
- Molyvos closes up shop after 25 years
- Benno and Bar Benno are done at the Evelyn Hotel
New Dual Hotel Property for Chelsea
New dual-branded SpringHill & TownePlace Suites New York Manhattan Chelsea has opened its doors, boasting 46 floors with impeccable skyline views. Situated at 140 West 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues (the heart of the Flower District), the property sports a prime location for city explorations, including close access to the Fashion District, Hudson Yards, and Chelsea Market. Design and functionality blend in the rooms, with guest amenities like a complimentary breakfast and WiFi, a fitness center, and a business center. TownePlace Suites New York Manhattan/Chelsea is designed for extended stays, with its king bedded studios featuring half fridges and electric cooktops.
Interested in attending private, one of a kind events (once we return to normal)?
ETD Exclusives is City Guide’s 2022 program to partner with NYC restaurants, museums, and other venues to sponsor unique activities. As a member of the NYC tourism community you can get on the guest list. Complete a quick survey to select your interests and you will soon start seeing invitations. There is no membership fee, it's free. Get on the list, fill in the quick survey.
Everything to Do Facebook Group Post of the Week
City Guide's Facebook Group Everything to Do NYC brings together 75,000 NYC visitors and superfans. People trade notes on best pizzas and bagels, Broadway shows, and what's activities are worth the investment of time and money. Itineraries are popular shares here and a great way to see how people plan out their trips and what they prioritize. A recent poster gave a rundown of her affordable NYC visit, which was enhanced by group suggestions. They loved dining at Carmine's, Ellen's Stardust, Junior's, Wo Hop, and La Perie Turkish Coffee, and took in Little Island, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Staten Island Ferry, The Vessel and Hudson Yards, Central Park, Grand Central Station, Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge, The High Line, and Broadway. If you're not yet a member, join us—you'll find free market research in what visitors are seeking out on NYC trips.