According to hotelchatter.com, this new hotel, the Element New York Times Square West, is pushing back its opening date. Originally scheduled to open in October, the Element New York Times Square West has pushed back the opening date to Dec. 18, 2010. Many people are excited about the promise of this new hotel, however the overarching fact of this property is that it is just another overpriced extension of the Times Square experience for tourists pushed further and further from visiting New York City at all.
This hotel is somewhat celebrated by hotelchatter.com, with talk about how the Element New York Times Square West hotel is promising “a soothing environment and healthy food options–in Times Square!” While that is interesting, the facts remain that the address for the Element New York Times Square West hotel is 311 W. 39th St.
For New Yorkers who are at all familiar with that neck of the woods, you know that this is a portion of the south side of Times Square (for those who believe that Times Square really extends south of 42nd Street at all), which has not really gotten the same “Disneyfication” that the rest of Times Square has. Couple that with its location on the street south of Port Authority and you get an even starker picture of what relaxation at the Element New York Times Square West is really all about. However, nothing has ever gotten any better by staying how it’s been in the past. Some would argue that progress begins with the first brave step forward, like that made by the Element New York Times Square West into the dirty waters of the 30’s west of 8th Avenue.
Still, the Element New York Times Square West hotel raises a whole separate argument, which is that of paying for the experience of staying at the Element. Hotelchatter.com reports rather grimly that “a king room at Element Times Square starts at $451.24 a night (including tax) on opening day, December 18. This isn’t even the best available rate, but an advance purchase, fully prepaid, non-changeable, non-refundable rate. Ouch.”
Ouch indeed. New York City has led the economic recovery and undoubtedly this rate for this time of year at this hotel is not all that uncommon. Still, if the Element New York Times Square West is going to be at all successful, they need to keep their ear to the pavement and make sure their rates keep up with what people are willing to pay. Element is a Starwood property and Starwood is not going bankrupt keeping this overpriced location afloat. But for the always-forgotten average consumer, New York City is becoming an even more and more aloof destination–Malibu, Miami, Maui, Manhattan; clenching the wealth of opportunity New York City has always offered to all but a select few.
Sleep tight big business and rest your laurels on the ever-dwindling market share for an interest in your increasingly vain and overpriced concepts.