Daily News from New York, New York on August 11, 1980 · 252
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Daily News from New York, New York · 252

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New York, New York
Issue Date:
Monday, August 11, 1980
Page:
252
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IS o o The Purse Gathering to be a $30 million Apple-sweetener o By DONALD SINGLETON MONG THE EXPERTS who organize fij the 900-odd conventions held in New L1 York City each year, this week's gathering at Madison Square Garden is considered to be a big deal- $30 million big deal, to be precise. The Democratic National Convention will bring an estimated 25,000 men and women into the city for five days and nights. They will do considerable spending we all know how much a restaurant meal costs in Manhattan, and an average room in the Waldorf-Astoria (where the California and Virgin Islands delegations and the Kennedy campaign will be staying) costs $75 a night The Waldorf is just one of 55 hotels housing conventioneers. Charles Gillett, president of the New York City Convention and Visitors Bureau, estimates that the delegates and alternates, the 11,000 journalists and the others attending the convention will plunk down roughly $10 million on hotel rooms, meals, entertainment and retail purchases before they leave town. And by the time that $10 million moves through the city's economy, Gillett says, the total impact will be $30 million. BUT THE 30 MILLION is only a short-term benefit If the convention is a big success, as it was four years ago, it could turn out to be a giant, free public relations campaign for the Big Apple's burgeoning tourism industry. Last year 17.5 million people came here, from around the nation, and the world, and they spent a total of $2.25 billion. As tourists go, the Democrats are not considered to be particularly big spenders "Mostly, they're busy at the Garden from late in the morning until after midnight," says a spokesman for the Waldorf. But at. least 25 of the delegates are bringing spouses or friends with them, says Jan Bodine, who is in charge of housing for the Democrats. And these spouses and friends will be shopping and going to shows and doing all the rest of the normal tourist activities. "We've had some people from the convention in the store already I guess they got' here early so they could 'do the city," says Judy Cohn, a spokesman for Macy's. "We have an 'I Love New York shop in the arcade, and they've been buying puzzles, glasses, buttons and other things with that motif." "I REMEMBER FOUR years ago, we had tons of people in the store from the Democratic convention," agrees Margot Rogoff, a spokesman for Bloomingdale's. "They come ' to buy, but they also come to look around department stores are theater these days, and our store has become famous around the world." And then there are the restaurants. "Last time, we-had a lot of extra businessbut a lot of. that was because Gov. Jimmy Carter of Georgia came in with his whole family one night, and the photographs made page one of every newspaper In America," says Bruno Bernabo, managing director of Mamma Leone's, New York's largest restaurant with a seating capacity of just,1 under 1,100. ' . "We're expecting some impact on our dinner and weekend reservations," says Ruth Epstein, a spokesman for the elegant Windows on the World restaurant atop the World Trade Center. "AS A MATTER OF fact, we've had some early arrivals in several of the Trade Center restaurants already. Like so many other tourists, they come down here to go up on the observation deck, and then they decide to have dinner." Making the delegates feel welcome is the job of the Host Committee, chaired by Cissie Aidinoff : "Every delegate will be greeted at his or her bus or train, will be given a ride to the hotel in a special MTA bus, and will get a kit that contains everything from free tickets to Yankee Stadium and several museums, to a razor lots of men forget their razors when they travel, you know. "We're going to be doing everything we can to keep them happy while they're hereto New York City, they're very important people." Button, button, they've got the button JT NATIONAL POLITICAL conven- l tion means big business in every Lmmi sector of the city's economy, of course. But in the button business, it's Christmas, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July and Valentine s Day all in one. "It's going to be incredible I've never seen anything like it," says Ron Beatus, president of Joy Products at 24 W. 45th St. "I've never seen so many hawkers buying so many buttons before. We're doing a big business in 'Carter-Mondale buttons, but 'Reagan-Carter Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right' is a big one, too, and a surprising number of guys are buying 'Muskie-Jackson' buttons, too " "There's gonna be buttons all over the - place," agrees David Schneider, president of the Dalo Button and Emblem Co. at 166 Fifth Ave. "The vendors have been buying everything we can get our hands on they've even been taking the old buttons left .over from the 1976 and 1972 campaigns." How much do they cost? "Well,", Schneider says, "for 1,000 'America With' Carter' buttons, printed in red and blue on a white background, it would cost a guy $300, or 30 cents apiece. And out in Kansas City, the hot buttons were going for $2 and $3 apiece." The really big numbers, of course, are the buttons that will coincide with the convention's eventual nominees and, judging by the orders, the button-hawkers are betting on a Carter-Mondale ticket . "But no matter who it turns out to be, we'll have something to sell," says Beatus. "All we need is the names, and we'll be able to get at least 10,000 buttons out overnight" ''mmi " jSlf . ( Y Between Bouts They'll taste Big Apple pie By RICHARD ROSEN CT1HEY'LL DINE AMID valuable baubles at Cartier, get a behind-the-scenes look U at a television soap opera and shop for bargains on Orchard St. And if that isn't enough, there will be a race through Central Park, innumerable parties and bus tours and a long list of other activities for dignitaries and delegates and alternates to the Democra-' tic National Convention and their spouses. The Citizens Committee that helped bring the convention to New York City plans to show off some of the Big Apple's -most interesting attributes this week. Yesterday, there was a 2.8-mile run through Central Park for the more athletic convention-goers and a party and show at Radio City Music Hall with Gov. Carey and Mayor Koch serving as hosts. THE SPOUSES -OF governors and senators will breakfast today at Cartier jewelers and Steuben Glass, respectively. Tomorrow,-the Four Seasons and Raga restaurants will open their kitchens for tours and conventioneers will shop and visit a winery on the lower East Side. There will be "breakfast with a star" at Lincoln Center Wednesday, along with tours of the Stock Exchange and a picnic lunch at the South St Seaport Museum. Conventioneers will visit the set of "The Edge of Night" soap opera Thursday, view the private vaults collection of costumes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and tour SoHo. Add to the list a Yankee-Orioles game, Broadway shows, restaurants, cafes and countless other tourist attractions. V w m s o o G O ci CO H

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