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Hilton to close Times Square hotel Oct. 1

Curtis Tate

USA TODAY

The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out hotel occupancy in urban areas, including the heart of New York City.

Hilton is closing its 478-room hotel in Times Square effective Oct. 1, according to a document it filed with state regulators this week. Two hundred employees will lose their jobs, the filing says, due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”

The 44-story hotel at 234 West 42nd Street opened in 2000, according to its website.

According to a report this week from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, an industry group, hotel occupancy in urban markets was 38% in August, well below the 50% it takes for most properties to break even.

August hotel occupancy in New Yorkwas 38%, according to STR, a firm that tracks hotel data. It was 93% a year ago.

As an early epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, New York has experienced a dramatic drop in tourism. While the city has recovered since the spring, restaurants remain closed to indoor dining and Broadway is closed until next year.

International tourism has plummeted with the cancellation of flights and the enactment of travel restrictions.

In 2019, there were 66.6 million international and domestic visitors to the city. Those tourists brought in $72 billion in economic activity, provided 403,000 jobs and brought in $7 billion in local tax revenue.

“It is going to be a long road ahead in terms of recovery,” Fred Dixon, president and CEOofNYC& Co., the leading tourism authority on New York City, told USA TODAY in July.

Contributing: Morgan Hines, USA TODAY

HILTON

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