Operating observation decks atop large towers is so profitable that seven bidders, including two from outside the United States, submitted proposals to the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to do so at 1 World Trade Center, according to the New York Times.
Anthony Malkin, whose Empire State Building deck generates $60 million in profits per year submitted a bid to operate the rival deck. Restaurateur Danny Meyer, Lengends Hospitality Management, which runs retail at Yankee Stadium, and food service company Aramark also submitted bids.
Plans for the observatory deck call for five high-speed express elevators to bring visitors to the top three floors of the forthcoming tower for $20 to $25 per person. Annual revenues could exceed $100 million, provided the deck can lure some of the four million yearly visitors who visit the top of the Empire State Building. The observatories at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Statue of Liberty and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum also offer competition. [NYT]