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Mayor Bloomberg Gets Serious About New Hotels

November 15, 2011 at 9:21 AM | by | ()

Late yesterday afternoon came an announcement from Mayor Bloomberg confirming our worst fears recent suspicions: New York will indeed be on the receiving end of hotel barrage in the next few years. Earlier, we pegged that number at 120 hotels by 2014—though Bloomberg's team was a little more specific. 7,000 rooms are currently in the pipeline, while the city's grand total of rooms will hit 90,000 by the end of the year—a 24% increase since 2006.

This explains why Bloomy had to act so quickly this morning to evict all those pesky protesters from Zucotti Park. Though previously tolerant, the mayor finally took decisive action against the OWS movement—interestingly, around the same time we received his press release about all the new hotels. Coincidence? There is no such thing.

If the city is banking on the continued growth of its tourism industry, we can't very well have outspoken activists clogging up all the thoroughfares! Or can it? Much of the focus of Bloomberg's announcement fell on hotels opening outside of Manhattan—outer borough spots like the Z Hotel. The Z's owner, Henry Zilberman, waxed poetic at a press conference with the mayor yesterday, held inside the hotel:

"Long Island City’s popularity is rising because it’s an incredibly cool place and it gets cooler every day. It’s close to shopping in Manhattan, it's affordable, quiet, safe. It’s all about proximity and you can be in the city or the airport in less than 15 minutes. This is the next place to be. It’s the place to be now. The Z Hotel will be a destination; every place in New York can succeed."

Gee, we almost have tears in our eyes. Oh, wait, no, that's just an eyelash. Outer borough hotel growth will continue in Long Island City, which is prepping for the opening of five more properties. Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel named NYC's strong tourism industry as "one of the reasons why New York's economy has rebounded faster than the rest of the country." Well, duh. With almost 50 million visitors a year, the city of New York can always count on raking in billions of dollars.

Contributing to the city's total of 90,000 rooms will be 35 new projects in the next 30 months—22 in Manhattan, and 13 in the outer boroughs.

[Photo: AP / NJ.com]

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