Macy’s parade route shift could mean big losses for Times Square hotels

Apr.April 05, 2010 09:14 AM

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is sticking with Seventh Avenue this year, but the parade’s future may be further east, and the shift has Times Square hotel and restaurant owners jittery. Large hotels are hesitant to take advance Thanksgiving reservations without the promise of a parade view, and the companies that own Times Square signs cannot set their rates without knowing whether the space will be televised on that day. Last year, the parade moved from Broadway to Seventh Avenue to accommodate the city’s new pedestrian plazas, which, at the time, were temporary. The 2009 parade traveled down Seventh Avenue from 59th to 42nd streets, hitting Times Square before veering onto Sixth Avenue and making its way to Herald Square. It included four extra turns, and with the pedestrian plazas now becoming permanent, Macy’s is worried about safely maneuvering the signature helium balloons through the more complex route in years to come. On the other hand, the Hotel Association of New York City said moving the parade to Sixth Avenue would mean a projected loss of $40 million in hotel room revenues, given that there are more than twice as many hotels on Seventh Avenue as on Sixth. [Crain’s]

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