|History heads, hoist a pint in celebration: The historic Fraunces Tavern Museum has reopened.This means you can finally stop playing around with the Lego version of the Revolutionary War-era museum and 300-year-old building, or participating in its virtual events, and instead go see the physical museum again (with precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, of course).The reopening of Fraunces Tavern Museum, which features exhibits about the American Revolution and the building’s former inhabitants, including George Washington, also coincides with the first-ever Tavern Week (September 13–20), a celebration of America’s taverns. Which is good news, because the Tavern’s restaurant and pub — considered by some to be the oldest bar in New York City — has been open for outdoor dining since July|
|As of today, the Governor has okayed the return of shopping malls. You can ski again at Big Snow inside NJ’s American Dream mall. The American Museum of Natural History is back today, as is the Museum of Illustration, joined by VR World and the Morris-Jumel Mansion tomorrow. You can visit the indoor galleries at the New-York Historical Society as of Friday. Saturday welcomes back the 9/11 Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Chelsea Flea, the Rubin Museum of Art, and El Museo del Barrio. New York State hasn’t seen a positive test rate of more than 1% since more than a month ago. There’s even a brand-new museum in Manhattan – The Makeup Museum in the Meatpacking district redesigned for a pandemic era audience.|
Nationally there’s cause for optimism as well. The TSA processed close to a million travelers last Friday and Monday, for the biggest travel days since early March. The Institute for Applied Positive Research recently completed a survey which shows 97% of respondents reporting that having a trip planned makes them happier. Beyond travel itself, there are serious mental health benefits to just booking a vacation—and with more and more on offer, NYC is prepared for the next wave of travelers.
|This week, New York state’s Covid-related hospitalizations dropped to 418, with 109 New Yorkers in ICUs—the lowest numbers we’ve seen since March. The lead up to Labor Day sees plenty of reopenings: Edge is back today after its star turn on the VMAs last weekend. ARTECHOUSE, the Whitney, and Poster House return tomorrow, followed by the Morgan this weekend. Gyms are also back today, speeded along by an initial run of virtual inspections.|
2021 could be an epic year for travel. Abbott Laboratories’s new rapid coronavirus test takes 15 minutes and costs $5. It could be a game changer for travel.
As the Times put it yesterday, “if you’re worried about Covid-19, at this point New York is one of the safest places in America.” Not exactly the fiery hellscape some have suggested this week. Happy Labor Day Weekend!
When you keep your community transmission rate low good things can happen. New York State is setting records for number of people tested and the results keep coming back the same, with less than 1% positive for the coronavirus. Accordingly, the re-openings are coming fast and furious. This week we’ve got The Statue of Liberty Museum and Ellis Island added to the “safe reopening NYC” file. Dream Downtown has reopened. The Standard High Line will be back September 1. There will even be a Fashion Week next month, albeit a modified one.
We see increasing evidence that the desire to get out and travel tracks closely with infection rates. With those rates going down the latest surveys show upticks in intent to travel. Last week’s “NYC & Company Talks: Recovery Ready—Research Outlook” had multiple data points indicating the worst is already behind us.
There’s been a lot of back and forth over whether “New York is dead forever.” (It’s not) says no other but avid New Yorker Jerry Seinfeld. Also as Steve Cuozzo put it in the Post, we’re seeing “huge office leases by Facebook, AIG, TikTok and Raymond James. In the same period, new leases were signed for a massive new Avra restaurant on Sixth Avenue and for several huge food halls. Major new buildings are going up all over Harlem. Every one of these commitments was made during, not prior to, the COVID crisis.”
There is no substitute for New York. We’re already coming back.
NYC Tourism Updates
|With the state infection rate below 1% for more than 11 days in a row—the rate is lower now than it was in June—the Governor has cleared the way for bowling alleys, cultural institutions, and gyms to open. For the latter it won’t be that easy (they’ll need to pass an inspection and for the foreseeable those inspectors will be focusing on schools), but the roll out is on for some of the city’s favorite draws. Among the public reopening dates we’ve newly added to our “safe reopening NYC” file are Ripley’s (8/26), MoMA (8/27), Fotografiska (8/28), SPYSCAPE (8/28), the American Folk Art Museum (8/28), The Museum of Ice Cream (8/29), Poster House (9/3), the Whitney (9/3), and The New Museum (9/15).|
We are getting reports of clusters of tourists out for the first time in months. Although NYC is not the #5 Labor Day flight destination it was in 2019, it still (somehow) cracks the top 20. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson tells investors things bottomed out in June and the worst is over. The latest studies show consumers miss travel so much it takes an emotional toll.
|Is it time for Phase 4? Things are lining up for the next step on Monday, July 20th. Earlier this week, the positive rate for COVID-19 was 1.08% statewide (in considerable contrast to Florida, which has been running at 15%-20%). On Saturday, NYC recorded zero deaths from coronavirus. The latest map of open restaurants shows over 8,200 options, including more than 4,500 outdoor spots and 57 open streets.|
There are so many re-openings in the city it’s getting harder to track. Today Governors Island reopens for the summer, with expanded ferry access points. Tomorrow the High Line returns, with timed ticketing. Come Monday, Circle Line, the Empire State Building, and a to-go version of Smorgasburg will be back. The New York Botanical Garden reopens next week, and the zoos and aquarium are back a week from Friday. City Guide is compiling the latest on coronavirus safety plans and reopening in NYC.
We believe NYC is well-positioned for Phase 4. And we’re optimistic that scientific breakthroughs may speed up the pace of recovery. A pilot program in the Bronx is testing a 15-minute COVID-19 test. An Israeli team has invented a COVID-19 breathalyzer, which uses frequency to detect the virus. The results come back in seconds. The device went into testing last week, and could be fast-tracked for approval in the U.S. as early as September.
|The city is on track to enter Phase 3 of reopening. We have progressed far enough that indoor dining and an expansion of personal care may be happening. It’s not certain because of the cautionary notes being sounded in places like Florida, Texas, California, and Arizona. New Jersey has had to pause its indoor dining plans because of issues like noncompliance on the Jersey Shore. But there is plenty for New York City to be proud of as we head into the holiday weekend.|
The waters are welcoming again, with HornBlower relaunching a fireworks cruise out of Weehawken and Statue Cruises touring visitors around New York Harbor. All three of the city’s library systems reopen in July for grab and go service. St. Patrick’s will hold an indoor Sunday Mass this weekend (at 25% capacity). The Department of Transportation has released an interactive map of reopened restaurants: 6,600 strong, with 3,500+ offering sidewalk or roadway dining
There are now 16 U.S. states meeting the standards for a required quarantine before entry into NYC. But we will have fireworks from atop the Empire State Building on Saturday and steadily improving health circumstances as we move into July.
Happy Independence Day!
New York City will enter its next phase of reopening on Monday, June 22, 2020 with as many as 300,000 employees expected to return to their jobs as outdoor dining, in-store shopping and office work resume.
Under the state’s reopening plan, outdoor dining, some in-store shopping, hair salons, barbershops, real estate firms and offices in the city would be allowed to open up in the second phase, with social distancing and restrictions on capacity. Playgrounds will also reopen during Phase 2.
The newly reopened businesses will likely offer a jolt of energy to New York City’s streets, which had been eerily quiet as the state’s lockdown orders shuttered businesses and kept residents at home. Restaurants in the city would be able to place seating in curbside parking areas and on sidewalks adjacent to their restaurants, even if those establishments had never provided outdoor seating before.
Beginning in July, the city would allow restaurant seating on the 43 miles of streets that it had closed as part of its Open Streets program. Under the program, roads were closed to vehicle traffic in an effort to provide more outdoor space to residents and prevent crowding at city parks.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s subway, buses and two commuter rails, said this month that it expects just over two million daily riders will use public transportation in Phase 2.
In anticipation, transit officials are urging riders returning to the system to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer, avoid rush hour and seek out less crowded train cars where possible. Subway workers have been cleaning the system nightly and have taken steps to encourage social distancing in stations and on trains.
|The reopening of New York City is tantalizingly close. We’re just shy of Albany’s benchmarks—on two metrics we are at 29% and only need to hit 30%, so we’ll be joining Long Island and the Mid-Hudson regions in reopening very soon. Traders are already back in person on the stock exchange. |
New York City has some advantages in coming back, including learning from those reopening ahead of us. We note innovations currently being tested, including an Italian museum that will issue badges that vibrate when visitors get too close; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston reopening last week with a new protocol of timed entry ticketing, touchless payments, temperature checks, and required facemasks; and increased global uses of partitions, sanitizing sprays, hand-washing stations, and even restaurant deployment of robots.
Among the findings from a cross-section of NYC tourism leaders:
– Floor graphics can help guide guests to keep them safe and safely distanced.
– Ultraviolet light has shown potential.
– Looking into drone use for sanitizing, creating fast turnover for theaters.
– Sterilizing door handles and technology like NanoSeptic Continuously Self-Cleaning Surfaces may offer ways forward.
– Virtual programming is reaching elevated numbers.
– To-go operations are resuming. (Don’t expect bathrooms to be open to the public.)
– Restaurants can shift from just the meal to more of an event, employing online programming.
– The offer at restaurants can evolve, adding grocery and retail to the offerings.
– Digital menus will replace paper versions.
In this time of uncertainty with the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak, The Wall Street Inn assures you that your safety and comfort remain our highest priority.
Please find below an update on what we are doing to ensure maximum flexibility for your bookings and your well being when you stay with us.
We have stepped up precautionary measures at our hotel as the safety of our guests and employees is most important to us. We take the utmost care to ensure every stay with us is safe, clean and comfortable.
We clean our hotel to ensure safety and comfort for our guests. Our measures include:
-Rigorous cleaning and sanitizing of guest rooms.
-Frequent sanitizing of high-contact points, such as elevator buttons, door handles, reception counters, bathrooms and meeting facilities.
– Hand sanitizers placed at guest contact areas, such as hotel lobby and conference space.
– Regular training of our employees ensuring proper hand hygiene and awareness of COVID-19. This is vital to help combat the spread of viruses and the health of our employees and guests.
We conduct daily meetings with our employees to review any relevant situation. We are in constant communication with the relevant health and travel authorities to keep our guests and employees updated and to advise them on appropriate measures to observe.
We welcome our guests into our hotel with the same warmth and hospitality we have always done. While the COVID-19 outbreak is a precipitously changing and fluid situation, we are committed to keeping you informed and to care for you as a valued guest.
We are constantly updating our cancellation policy to reflect the most recent developments related to COVID-19 and any official travel or meeting restrictions, suspensions, quarantines or lock-down measures announced by governments worldwide. Our aim is to offer you as much flexibility and planning comfort as possible.
Effective April 30, 2020, we have implemented the following updates to our cancellation policy.
For existing reservations made prior to April 1, 2020, for stays until June 30, 2020, we allow:
– Free modifications subject to availability and/or any rate differences
– Free cancellations with the following exception:
If a deposit has been paid for an existing reservation, we will credit you the full amount to redeem with your next stay at the hotel until March 31, 2021. If you are unable to redeem, we will refund you as of April 1, 2021.
For new reservations made between April 1 and June 30, 2020, for any future arrival date, we allow:
– Free modifications up to 24 hours before the arrival date. Any modifications are subject to availability and/or any rate differences
– Free cancellations up to 24 hours before arrival date
The Wall Street Inn looks forward to welcoming you during your next stay in NYC