A new effort is underway to boost tourism in Downtown Manhattan areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
Tourism to Lower Manhattan came back slowly but surely after September 11th and is now facing another test of its economic and emotional resolve after Hurricane Sandy gave it the one-two punch.
"There are still problems within the area, but buildings are open," says Linda Rapacki of the Museum of American Finance. "There are still restaurants to come to, still shops to go into, and we need it to keep downtown alive."
The Museum of American Finance is one of 11 museums joining forces in a New Year's tourism initiative spearheaded by NYC and Co., the city's tourism arm.
Other businesses, including Fraunces Tavern, The Skyscraper and The New York City Police Museums join at least 14 Lower Manhattan hotels giving extra bennies to guests every weekend through February.
Visitors booking any of the hotels, including Hilton's soaring new Conrad facing the Hudson River, get up to two free culture passes per room for three days' worth of museum visits, along with a $20 gift card to shop for discount designer duds at Century 21.
Century 21 is located across from the new One World Trade Center tower being built to replace the Twin Towers. Already, it is one of Lower Manhattan's must-see sights, along with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, closed since Hurricane Sandy but easily enjoyed from sightseeing boats on the harbor, including the free Staten Island Ferry.
From South Street Seaport, to the Financial District and the Battery, Downtown Manhattan is looking up for 2013.