Soon Las Vegas won't be the only city to keep a virtual Manhattan within its borders. The New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau, under the direction of Deputy Mayor Fran Reiter, has announced an extravagant new promotion campaign designed to increase European travel to The Big Apple.
"For a city known for being aggressive, we have not been very aggressive in wooing people overseas," said Craig Muraskin, an official at the Visitors Bureau. The new campaign, a mammoth venture called "The New York Experience," should cure that. The "experience" will include recreations of famous New York interiors, exteriors and views, among them expensive recreations of the Fifth Avenue toy store FAO Schwartz, Madison Square Garden, the Rainbow Room, and Tavern on the Green. Guests will dine on food prepared by a Four Seasons chef in a room wallpapered with the New York skyline.
Of course, no New York experience would be complete without a sampling of Broadway. To that end, the bureau has hired a group of Broadway singers and dancers who, while the guests are digesting their gourmet meal, will deliver a medley of songs from familiar Broadway musicals. Muraskin said the songs will not necessarily be culled from shows currently playing on Broadway, but rather will be classic tunes which speak of Broadway as an entity.
"The New York Experience" will be presented in London on June 3, and in Frankfurt on June 10. Both cities are prime sources of New York City tourists. American Express is the project's main funder. (Many cardholders will be invited to the promotions, along with prominent people in the tourism trade.)
-- By Robert Simonson