The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade route for 2012 no longer includes Times Square, and the Times Square hotels are up in arms, fuming that they’ll lose millions of dollars.
The current route (including for the 2011 parade) comes down Central Park West, past Columbus Circle and then passes through 7th Avenue and Times Square before ending up at Macy’s Herald Square.
The new route (marked in blue on the map) takes the parade down 6th Avenue instead of 7th Avenue.
According to Mike Stengel, the area vice president for Marriott hotels, the route change is going to cause them to lose 2 to 3 million dollars at their two Times Square hotels - Marriott Marquis Times Square and the Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square.
The parade allows the hotels to charge premium rates and 2-3 days minimum stays during the Thanksgiving weekend.
There are nearly 7000 hotel rooms where people gather to watch the parade go by. Without the parade, the demand for Thanksgiving weekend rooms will be lukewarm in Times Square.
The demand will shift to hotels that offer a view on the new route, like The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park, which has rooms overlooking Sixth Ave.
Stengel also tells DNAInfo that the lack of images of Times Square in the parade would cause tourists to stay away from the Big Apple and create a downturn in tourism.
The organizer of a Thanksgiving weekend Dental Convention that is expecting 58,000 attendees says many of his dentists won’t come now because their hotels will no longer have views of the parade.
The Times Square Alliance isn’t taking things lying down, and they organized a protest – by Spider-Man, Snoopy, Mr. Potato Head and other cartoon characters, to force Macy’s to put Times Square back on the route.
They’ve even organized a poll on Crain’s New York to send the message to Macy’s.
Photos – Macy’s, Times Square Alliance