Aqueduct convention center would be too far from NYC attractions, industry experts say

February 22, 2012 09:30AM

One big hitch in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious plan for a convention center near the Aqueduct is the proposed site’s distance from major New York City tourist attractions, according to industry executives cited by the New York Times.

While the Jacob Javits Center is walking distance from attractions along Times Square, Broadway and Fifth Avenue that conventioneers and trade shows long to see, Aqueduct is an hour-long subway ride away.

Granted, the Javits Center is too small for some larger shows, but experts say there’s no guarantee organizers will opt for a more remote location in Queens simply because a larger facility exists there. Plus, the Times noted that the Javits Center has one of the highest utilization rates of any convention center in the U.S.

“People want to be in the heart of Manhattan,” said Mark Scheinberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association that produces the annual auto show at Javits. “Do they want to be on the fringes of Queens?”

Hotel operators that depend on conventions and trade shows were also skeptical of the plan, and said they were unlikely to build “out there” despite Cuomo’s plan. [NYT]