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World Trade Center Observatory Isn’t Getting As Many Visitors As Anticipated

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One World Observatory fell short of its projected visitor count in its first year

The Observatory on its opening day.
Max Touhey

One World Observatory celebrated its first birthday on May 29, but instead of closing out its first year with a bang, the Times has found that the whole shebang was more of a whimper. The observatory, which sits on the 100th and 101st floors of the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center, attracted only about two thirds of the visitors it expected to woo in its first year of operation.

Observatory operator Legends predicted 3.3 million visitors in the observatory's first year, but only 2.3 million ascended to the top of the new iconic tower. The Times suggests the lack of patronage doesn't have to do with ticket pricing; the city's two reigning observation deck champs, the Empire State Building with its 4 million annual visitors and Top of the Rock with its 2 million annual visitors, both inflated their ticket prices to contend with One World Observatory's. The observatory made news when it announced its high ticket price of a whopping $32 a pop for an adult.

Instead, the Times suggests that Legends might be to blame for the small crowds because of their failure to court tour operators who buy tickets en masse. Packages including tickets for multiple attractions put togther by tour operators are popular with foreign tourists, Barry Tenenbaum, president of New York City Vacation Packages, told the Times. The president of Legends Shervin Mirhashemi told the Times that they're working with tour operators on a "very selective basis."

Legends, which provides food and beverage services for sports teams including the New York Yankees and Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, also runs several food and beverage concession points within the Observatory that have been largely panned.


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One World Trade Center Freedom Tower

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