More from the NYU Hotel Conference
At a reception this week at the NYC Marriott Marquis, here are Marriott Marquis GM Scott Nadeau, right, and Spring Valley Hospitality Advisors’ Lee LaRochelle, who knew each other working at Marriott 20 years ago. With 2,000 rooms, the 30-year-old hotel may be largest in the city (evidently there are different ways to calculate). It was designed by famed John Portman of Atlanta, who introduced the atrium fashion of the time that became the focal point of the hotel. Although it thereby “turned its back” on Times Square (purposely, because it was still pretty seedy at the time), it’s made changes since then to capitalize on its location. Indeed, as we walked outside after 6pm, a huge Taste of Times Square was in full swing with seemingly millions of tourists swirling through the area.
Speaking of tourists, these are the “spaghetti” NY flight paths conference chair (and Loews CEO) Jonathan Tisch cited in urging Congress to fund “next gen” aviation technology. He believes a quick and smooth travel experience is critical in expanding the number of visitors necessary to keep the hotel real estate business booming.
Tisch advocated increasing the Passenger Facility Charge, arguing that travelers would be happy to spend it if they realize how little it is compared with other fees they’re assessed these days—and if they could be assured it would be used to increase capacity. (Our suggestion: Given that billions have been spent to increase Dulles capacity via new trains and walkways, yet that don’t seem to have sped up the process, how about making the objective to “improve” rather than merely “increase” capacity?)