The Real Deal New York

Trade shows threaten to boycott proposed Aqueduct convention center

May 21, 2012 08:30AM

Trade show producers have joined together to voice support for the Jacob Javits Center that Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to tear down, and even threatened to boycott his proposed replacement at the Aqueduct in Queens. Crain’s reported the group of 21 large trade-show companies, called Friends of Javits, sent a letter to Cuomo late last month to express their opposition to the demolition of the existing facility. The group, which includes the producers of the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show and the New York International Gift Fair, says its members would not bring their show to the far outposts of the city.

The distance of Genting’s proposed center in Ozone Park from Midtown Manhattan is the main source of the discontent, and has also drawn the ire from the New York Hotel Association. Both would prefer a convention center in Willets Point, but unlike Aqueduct, there is no plan for a completely privately funded center at the development site.

Genting has met with many of the trade show producers since Cuomo first announced the plans in January, but the group remains unconvinced the plan is financially feasible for them. Getting said only that it would continue to work with those parties. [Crain’s]