LATTE discovers East Coast USA

Rowland House AS Edits
Rowland House in Upstate New York.

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On Thursday 21 July, LATTE and other select media guests were invited to attend the East Coast USA luncheon at Silvereye restaurant, Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, to listen to guest speakers talk about current and future travel trends and developments for New York City, New York State, New England, Washington DC and Philadelphia.

New York, New York

With an expected 12.7 million international visitors this year and 59.7 million visitors overall, New York City remains the nation’s number one destination for overseas travel, in part due to the ongoing development of ‘demand generators’ that continue to draw travellers from around the globe to the “new” New York City.

The event opened with guest speaker Fred Dixon, President and CEO NYC & Company, discussing the Australian travel market, and future developments and trends.

“We are pleased to see a sixth year of tourism growth in New York City as we welcomed 58.3 million visitors last year. The City continues to evolve, always offering fresh reasons to visit again and again, with more new developments on the horizon. However, with the continuing pressure on the global economy and the strengthening dollar, we will all need to work even harder in 2016 to sustain our competitive edge,” commented Mr Dixon.

New York City is the number one US destination for overseas travellers, with China making up the largest spending market, followed closely by Brazil and Australia. And what keeps Australians coming back to the Big Apple? Nightlife, sports and Broadway shows. Overnight visitation — a key component of total visitation — has grown approximately 3.2 per cent.

Big Apple developments

New York City has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, with around 109,000 hotel rooms as of June 2016 and an expected inventory of 135,000 hotel rooms by 2019. Noteworthy hotel openings in 2016 include Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel (April 2016); The William Vale (May 2016); InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel (spring 2016); The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel (spring 2016); Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown (mid 2016); Whitby Hotel (autumn 2016); and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (late 2016).

“With newly redesigned hotel ballrooms, historic spaces and world-class meeting venues opening this year, New York City continues to provide unmatched experiences to delegates looking for their next productive meeting, exhibition or event,” commented Mr Dixon. “The City offers one-of-a-kind options for any meeting, from iconic skyline views to outdoor green spaces and many more flexible options appealing to planners.”

New York City is more accessible than ever, with extensive infrastructure improvements throughout the five boroughs. From the recent opening of the 34th Street-Hudson Yards subway station on Manhattan’s Far West Side; to the Summer 2016 debut of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub (whose Santiago Calatrava-designed Oculus opened last week); to the December 2016 opening of the Second Avenue Subway’s first phase, it is easier than ever to get around the city. By July 2016, 500 state-of-the-art LinkNYC kiosks will come to New York City’s five boroughs, offering free high-speed internet, phone calls and device charging for residents and visitors, with another 4500 coming online by mid-2019.

In March, the city saw the opening of The Met Breuer, The Met Museum’s new contemporary art wing in the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The city’s retail industry is thriving, with the recently opened Barneys New York Downtown flagship in Chelsea; Westfield World Trade Center debuting in Lower Manhattan this summer; City Point opening in Brooklyn this year; and Nordstrom, expected to open in 2019. In years to come, New York City will see the openings of the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets in St. George, Staten Island (2017); Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport (2017); and extensive upgrades on Manhattan’s Far West Side, with the Hudson Yards development (2018).

About Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards, on Manhattan’s Far West Side, is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since the Rockefeller Center. When complete, the site will include more than 1.58 million square metres of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops and boutiques including the city’s first Neiman Marcus, 20 restaurants, 5.6 hectares of public open space, a 150-room luxury hotel and a new observation deck. The first phase, the Eastern Yard, will debut in 2018–19.

On-trend food halls

New York City’s new and trending food halls feature an array of dining possibilities, from casual eats to high-end restaurant offerings.

“New York City’s food halls are an exciting way to experience the City’s vibrant and evolving food scene,” commented Mr Dixon.“From new openings like TurnStyle and The Pennsy to mainstays like Chelsea Market and Grand Central Market, there are so many fantastic food hall options to choose from, giving visitors more reasons to return again and again.”

New York City has long been home to popular food markets like Arthur Avenue Retail Market, Chelsea Market, Eataly, Grand Central Market and Gotham West. In addition to these iconic places, the city is experiencing a trend in the rise of food halls, celebrating cuisines from around the world.

Coming in 2016:

Eataly: The popular Italian marketplace, home to restaurants, food and beverage counters, a bakery, retail items and cooking classes is expected to open a 3700-square-metre outpost at 4 World Trade Center later this year.

The Great Northern Food Hall: In early summer 2016, internationally acclaimed chef Claus Meyer will open a Nordic-inspired food hall inside Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. The 465-square-metre space’s offerings will include baked goods, granola and Danish open-faced rye sandwiches called smørrebrød.

Gotham Market at The Ashland: Gotham West Market, the day and night dining destination in Hell’s Kitchen, will be opening a new location this fall inside The Ashland in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene. The 1486-square-metre space will have a pop-up place for local chefs and restaurateurs, in addition to full-time food vendors like Apizza Regionale (Italian fare), Flip Bird (rotisserie chicken), Mu Ramen (bowls of noodles, burgers and Japanese snacks) and popular Midtown barbecue restaurant Mason Jar.

Coming in 2018:

The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards: When open in 2018, the Restaurant Collection at Hudson Yards will feature 12 luxury restaurants, including a steakhouse and American grill by chef Thomas Keller. The final 10 restaurants have not been confirmed, although Spanish chef José Andrés and Greek seafood chef Costas Spiliadis will reportedly be adding outposts to the collection.

Beyond NYC

Speakers at the lunch emphasised the tourism hotspots that are trending beyond New York City, namely Washington DC, Philadelphia and the Catskills.

Destination DC President, Elliot L Ferguson, spoke of the many merits of Washington DC, under the tagline, campaign and hashtag #myDCcool. Mr Ferguson  quoted the ‘three Ms’ – monuments, memorials and museums – as being the best and most surprising reasons to visit the city and highlighted the city’s buzzing night life, eclectic neighbourhoods, cultural diversity and culinary scene (over 2000 restaurants).

Washington DC is to be the host of IPW in 2017.

I Heart NY spoke of the Catskills as being the new “weekend getaway from the city” or the “new Hamptons” – but for the more bohemian and outdoors minded – dubbing the area as “your mountain getaway and next adventure”.

Only a half-hour drive from NYC, Philadelphia is not only ideally situated on the East Coast, but is also one of the world’s most walkable cities and – thanks to founder William Penn’s smart and simple grid street design – the city centre is easy to navigate. The city is rich in both history and high-tech ideas – although it is most famous as the birthplace of American democracy – and the perfect way to learn about its tradition of freedom and innovation is by exploring the museums, diverse communities, and exciting sports and cultural attractions.

For more about Upstate New York, discover Signature Luxury Travel & Style‘s experience beyond the Big Apple.

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Australian visitation to NYC.
Australian visitation to NYC.
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Perspective: New York City is only the pink area.

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