Both business and leisure groups are descending upon New York City, seeking the chance to socialize and taking advantage of bargain prices at hotels and activities, according to experts. Some venues are saying this could be their strongest February on record, based on requests for future bookings.

City leaders have their fingers crossed that this third attempt to rebound from the Covid pandemic will stick this time and continue trending strongly in the right direction. Six in 10 employers surveyed by the Partnership for New York City said they expected average daily attendance in Manhattan offices to exceed 50% by the end of March, according to responses gathered between Jan. 10 and 18. That is a quick turnaround, considering that, in December, 75% of employers delayed return-to-office plans and 22% closed offices to nonessential employees.

For the first time in a long while, hotels are seeing a huge boost in patrons. Restaurants are also reporting big groups at lunch, a sign that office workers are returning. Each week since mid-January, sales have grown steadily, and have been building momentum since Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the end of a statewide indoor mask mandate Feb. 9.

At a recent meeting with business leaders, Gov. Hochul said executives should “tell everybody to come back” and to “give ’em a bonus to burn the Zoom app and just come back to work.”

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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