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Times Square Hotels Saw Upswing in Wake of Sandy

By Alan Neuhauser | February 14, 2013 10:55am

MIDTOWN — Times Square hotels were nearly 90 percent full in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and  average rates shot up to those more commonly seen in peak season, the Times Square Alliance announced.

Times Square hotels reported their highest occupancy rates since 2003 in the month of November, with average rates of $307 — close to the highest prices charged at any time last year, according to the Alliance.

"It was a strong month across the board. For Broadway, for pedestrian traffic. Much of that was gathering pre-storm," Times Square Alliance communications director Gia Storms said. "This reinforces how important the travel and tourism industry is as a whole."

At The Muse Hotel on West 46th Street, bookings "were positive and on target with 2011, as our guests were not deterred by the storm and excited to celebrate the holiday season," general manager Ericka Nelson said in a statement. She said the hotel actually reduced its rates in early November to help residents and tourists displaced by Sandy.

Although real estate sales and rentals saw a slight dip, pedestrian visits to Times Square jumped November to December as visitors flocked to the area for the holidays and New Year's Eve. Broadway theaters also experienced a uptick in gross sales for the month compared to the previous year, despite a downturn in attendance.