When the Observation Deck is the King 25
  • 友善列印版本


    By Senior Manager (Cost & Controls) Eugene Chang


    For New York City had capped off a seven-year spurt of tourism growth and drawn a recorded 60 million tourists in 2016, with 47.6 million visitors coming from within the United States and the remainder from the rest of the world.


    And at the center of this boom, the owners of one particularly iconic building - The Empire State Building – couldn't be happier. Its observatory deck has generated more revenue than its 2.7 million square feet of leasable office area.


    In 2013, Empire State Realty trust, which owns the Empire State Building, became a publicly traded company, and since its financial performance has been opened, people can now see how this iconic skyscraper makes its money.


    The 443.2-meter-high (from the base to the top of building antenna), or 102-floor skyscraper contains 2.7 million square feet of office space on a 79,288-square-foot site. Its construction started on March 17, 1930, and proceeded at the unprecedented speed of 4.5 stories per week, taking only one year and 45 days to reach its completion on March 31, 1931. It immediately became a landmark of New York City, and has been "home" to some of the most famous movies including King Kong. Its observation decks, located at 86th floor and 102nd floor, offer panoramic views of Manhattan, and are one of the favorite tourist spots in one of the most visited cities in the world. There is also a "hidden" 103rd floor, which can only be accessed exclusively by invited VIPs.


    In 2016, while the revenue generated from the 2.7 million square feet of office space reached USD120 million, the observation decks bought in USD124 million (40.6% of the total revenue). Other revenue sources included USD28.9 million from broadcasting license and leasing of its antenna, USD9.3 million from retail rental, and USD24.2 million from tenant reimbursement and other incomes.


    Obviously, it is the building's view which is the real moneymaker for the Empire State Building. Despite increased competition from the newly opened One World Trade Center and renovated Rockefeller Center observation deck, the Empire State Building deck draws at least four million visitors per year and charges a premium at USD54 per adult to access both the 102nd and 86th floors, which are, incidentally, the highest among all its competitors.


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