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NYC economy unscathed by Times Square bomb

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's "business as usual" in New York City, despite the thwarted terrorist attack in the heart of Manhattan this weekend.

Business leaders say the tourists are still coming to Times Square, undeterred by the vehicle bomb that failed to explode on Saturday.

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"There was very little impact," said Kathleen Duffy, spokeswoman for the New York Marriott Marquis, a hotel located right next to where the propane-packed Nissan Pathfinder was parked and left to explode. "We've seen no significant spike in cancellations."

Duffy said that the Marriott had an occupancy rate of more than 90% Monday night, even though part of the hotel facing 45th Street, including the restaurants with their multi-story glass façade, had to be temporarily evacuated on Saturday.

The smoking bomb, which was thwarted by an alert vendor and the police before it had the chance to explode, spurred an evacuation of Times Square. This made it difficult for some theater goers to access Broadway in time for the performances, but the show must go on.

"There were no evacuations from Broadway theaters on Saturday night," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, in an e-mail to CNNMoney.com. "Due to police activity that closed a few streets in Times Square Saturday night, there were some late curtains but all shows did go on."

Last week's grosses "were not affected by the events of Saturday night because the tickets were sold and the performances were not cancelled," she added. "It's logical to assume there may have been financial impact on Sunday and this coming week, but the grosses do not necessarily reflect that assumption."

NYC & Company, the city's tourism and marketing organization, reported that commerce was carrying on unabated in midtown Manhattan.

"The Times Square area and its neighboring businesses are operating in a business-as-usual capacity -- the hotels, restaurants, shops, and Broadway theaters are fully operational," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, in an e-mail. "The packed crowds on Sunday, Monday and today in Times Square reflect the energy of the area and show that things are back to normal."

Janine DiGioacchino, general manager of Madame Tussauds, said her staff at the wax museum located three blocks from the incident didn't even know anything unusual was happening until they saw it on the news.

"It really is business as usual," she said. "Nothing has changed for us."

She said she hasn't received cancellations, even from school groups, which "tend to be the ones that are most fearful of New York and what's going on here."

In a speech on Tuesday, President Obama applauded New Yorkers for taking the attempted attack in stride.

"New Yorkers have reminded us once again how to live with their heads held high," he said.

A suspect in the attack, Pakistani native and U.S. citizen Faisal Shahzad, was arrested Monday on Dubai-bound plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport before it left the tarmac.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that Shahzad was arrested "for allegedly driving a car bomb into Times Square." To top of page

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