Mar 5 - New York City gets its first gay, straight-friendly urban resort as it tries to get a bigger piece of the multi-billion same-sex travel and tourism industry. Conway G. Gittens reports.
"The Out NYC hotel" recently launched just steps away from the famed theaters of Broadway, hoping to become a rising star in the $47 billion gay travel and tourism industry, a figure compiled by the Association of Travel Marketing Executives. Ian Reisner said he came up with the idea after watching local businesses catering to the gay community disappear. SOUNDBITE: IAN REISNER, CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, THE OUT NYC, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We lost bars and we lost clubs and we lost cafes and we lost restaurants. And we never even had a gay boutique hotel, so I decided to open a gay-focused, gay-oriented, straight-friendly urban resort right here in the heart of New York on 42nd Street, blocks from Times Square." The Out Hotel NYC actually builds on two current trends. Number one: more and more boutique hotels are popping up; with major hotel companies even getting in the game as the industry looks to boost sales. The half-acre complex has 105 guest rooms, a restaurant, nightclub, three courtyards, a spa facility, a waterfall, and an open door policy for all, which means one doesn't have to be gay to check in. The second trend is cultural, and Reisner sees a business opportunity there. SOUNDBITE: IAN REISNER, CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, THE OUT NYC, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "With the legalization of gay marriage happening everywhere around us, with the repeal of 'Don't ask. Don't tell' in the military, I think the opening of a gay urban resort, a gay-oriented urban resort is one step more in that direction, making gays feel accepted everywhere and anywhere." STANDUP: CONWAY G. GITTENS, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH): Part of the strategy is to create a boutique hotel experience that is affordable for as many as possible - whether gay or straight. At this hotel they have shared sleeper rooms. Four beds in one room. $99 a bed. Each bed comes with a TV and a privacy curtain but one shared bathroom; a small price though city where an average hotel room rate can cost $276 a night. Conway Gittens, Reuters