Shuttered Lower Manhattan sights crippling tourist dependent businesses

December 03, 2012 10:30AM

Lower Manhattan tourist hot-spots like the South Street Seaport and the Statue of Liberty remain closed following Hurricane Sandy, hurting tourism and local businesses, Crain’s reported. Retailers, restaurants and other Lower Manhattan businesses that count on the constant flow of hundreds of thousands of tourists will likely continue to suffer as sightseers favor parts of the city with less storm damage.

“We are starting to get questions now about whether downtown is open,” Travis Noyes, senior vice president of New York Water Taxi, a commuter-service operator that also offers harbor tours to visitors, said.

Moreover, changes to the South Street Seaport including Pier 17, where Howard Hughes Corp. is planning a redesigned mall, could keep tourists away even after other attractions reopen.

“We are being told that it won’t take more than 18 months to build the new structure, so we would only lose one summer, but if they close in July 2013, we’d lose two summers,” said Aristotle Hatzigeorgiou, whose Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club sustained an estimated $700,000 in hurricane damage. [Crain’s]Christopher Cameron