15 JUN 2018: Next year is being forecast to be nothing less than a “monumental year” by New York City tourism officials. And while hyperbole is often part and parcel of tourism promotion in the industry, NYC & Company president and CEO, Fred Dixon, clearly won’t be pulling a Pinocchio as the Big Apple is set to welcome truly massive new developments in the city, not the least of which is Hudson Yards – the largest private real estate development in US history.

It’s hard to imagine a “city within a city” emerging in the heart of a metropolis as dense as New York, but the new neighbourhood is totally transforming the west side of Manhattan between 30th and 34 streets and from 10th Ave. to the Hudson River.

When completed in Spring, 2019, Hudson Yards will be New York’s largest development since Rockefeller Center in the early 20th century, comprising more than 5.5 million sq. m. ft. of commercial and residential space with more than 100 shops and restaurants, the Equinox branded luxury hotel, the highest observation deck in the city, 5.6 hectares of open area, and much more.

Two Signature attractions stand out:

The Vessel (to be completed this year) is destined to join the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty as an iconic symbol of New York. The unique 600-ton, 15-storey high permanent structure will be the centrepiece of a 5.7 hectare public plaza within Hudson Yards and surrounded by gardens. Comprised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs with 2,500 individual steps and forming 1.6 kilometres of walkways, artist Thomas Heathwerwick calls the honeycomb structure “one of the most complex pieces of steelwork ever made.” In addition to taking selfies in front of it, visitors will be able to climb it for great views of the city.

The multi-arts centre The Shed, is designed to “advance culture and art with a mission to nurture multi-disciplinary artistic invention under one spectacular roof.” Housed in an innovative five-storey high, 61,000 sq.-m. movable structure, it’s designed to physically transform itself to support the artists’ most ambitious ideas, seven of which have already been commissioned for the venue’s inaugural 2019 season. The facility will also include galleries, theatre, artists’ lab, performance space and a 17,000 sq.-ft. plaza for outdoor events.

“We’re aspiring to build the next new neighbourhood in New York and we take that responsibility very seriously,” Stacey Feder, chief marketing officer of Hudson Yards, said at the recent IPW trade show in Denver, adding, “We’ve had great success with business and retail and restauranteurs and culture attractions moving to the neighbourhood. It’s really transforming the west side of New York, and what we’ve seen is a basic shift in Manhattan.”


Feder noted that more than five hectares of Hudson Yards will be “open to the sky,” to welcome visitors and will be nearby other popular city attractions like the High Line, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and Circle Line cruise terminal. It will also be accessible by subway. She adds that with 40,000 New Yorkers working in the neighbourhood, it will be “a lively neighbourhood every day.”

And the experience for visitors to New York will be incomparable, she enthused. “If I can get you to imagine starting your day on the High Line at the Whitney Museum and walking on the High Line and enjoying the 300 museums in Chelsea and ending up with us at Hudson Yards and having a great meal and working it off as you run on the Vessel, then getting tickets to The Shed, it will be a phenomenal day in New York!”

While certainly dwarfing other developments, Hudson Yards certainly isn’t the only thing happening in 2019 in the city that never sleeps. Other highlights include:

Event: WorldPride 2019, to be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion (coined Stonewall 50) will take place in the US for the first time with two months of programs and events under the theme “Millions of Moments of Pride,” along with NYC’s annual Pride March and PrideFest in June.

Expansion: The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Openings: Statue of Liberty Museum; Nordstrom Women’s Flagship Store, MetLife Stadium

Upgrades: New York City’s four regional airports, Pier 17 at the Seaport District NYC, and more.

Hotels: New York City has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, with 117,300 hotel rooms as of May 2018 and an expected inventory of 136,500 hotel rooms by the end of 2019. Noteworthy hotel property openings in 2019 include Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards, Six Senses New York, TWA Hotel and Westin New York Staten Island, among others.

New York City welcomed 62.8 million visitors in 2017, the City’s eighth consecutive year for record-breaking tourism, with 49.7 million domestic and 13.1 million international visitors. New York City remains the number one US destination for international visitation, visitor spending and economic impact. In 2018, the destination is expected to welcome 65.1 million visitors.


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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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