FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND DEPUTY MAYOR HARRIS ANNOUNCE THAT THE NEW YORK CITY WATERFALLS HAD A $69 MILLION ECONOMIC IMPACT ON NEW YORK CITY, EXCEEDING ESTIMATES
1.4 million People Visited the Waterfalls Between June 26 and October 13, 2008
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and First Deputy Mayor Deputy Patricia E. Harris today announced that The New York City Waterfalls had an estimated economic impact of $69 million, exceeding the initial estimate of $55 million. The Waterfalls, a major work of public art by artist Olafur Eliasson, commissioned by Public Art Fund and presented in collaboration with the City, contributed $15.5 million in direct spending on the exhibition's total presentation, including building materials, construction, operation, disassembly, and promotional and educational materials; an estimated $26.3 million in incremental visitor spending; and an estimated $26.8 million in indirect spending from these expenditures. The Waterfalls also highlighted the City's vibrant cultural community, increased the number of ferry boats and tours in the harbor, attracted over one million people to the waterfront, and contributed to the City's status as a world capital of culture - helping make it a dynamic place to live, work, and visit. The Mayor and First Deputy Mayor Harris were joined by Public Art Fund President Susan K. Freedman, Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Seth Pinsky, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, Rochelle Steiner, Public Art Fund Director and Curator of the Waterfalls, Klaus Biesenbach, Co-Curator of Take your time: Olafur Eliasson; and J.B. Meyer, President and CEO, Circle Line Downtown at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens.
"We always knew the Waterfalls was going to reinvigorate our City's waterfront - but its actual impact has exceeded our expectations," said Mayor Bloomberg. "People didn't buy tickets or pass through a turnstile to experience the Waterfalls, but this exhibition brought people to areas of the City they might not otherwise ever have visited. We've always understood that we have to encourage big, bold projects that set our City apart, and this will be increasingly important while areas of our economy are struggling from the turmoil on Wall Street."
"Public Art Fund is extremely proud to have commissioned The New York City Waterfalls and to have brought the artist's vision to life," said Susan K. Freedman, President of the Public Art Fund. "The project not only gave people a new way to see the city, but also expanded the possibilities of what public art can be."
1.4 Million People Visited the Waterfalls, and Many More Viewed the Exhibition
Overall, according to the survey, 23 percent of Waterfalls viewers - more than 320,000 people - made their first trip to the Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn waterfront to see the Waterfalls. According to the survey, 44,500 New Yorkers made their first trip to the Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn waterfront to see the Waterfalls.
In order to determine the number of Waterfalls visitors and the portion of net new visitors to New York due to the Waterfalls exhibition, Audience Research & Analysis conducted both visitor counts and surveys at seven Waterfalls vantage points in Manhattan and Brooklyn and from four major tour boat operators. Hundreds of thousands of other New Yorkers and visitors to the City saw the Waterfalls during their daily commutes to work; as part of their daily walk, run, or bike ride along the waterfront; and during charter boat cruises.
Attendance at Cultural Organizations
Ferry Boat Operators
"This been one of the most exciting projects that I have had the pleasure of being involved with," said JB Meyer, President and CEO of Circle Line Downtown. "All of our cruises saw a significant increase in visitation by foreign tourists and residents of the New York region. It also helped introduce hundreds of thousands visitors to our City's waterfront."
Presence of Waterfalls Online and in Foreign Media
The Waterfalls generated significant media attention from around the world, generating hundreds of articles in media outlets in more than 25 countries. Further, three dedicated international media tours were carried out during the lifespan of the Waterfalls, centered on the project. Domestically, the nation's highest-rated television and print media reported on the Waterfalls, as did all local and regional press, resulting in more than five hundred media clips and countless media impressions.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Stacy Bolton (Public Art Fund) (212) 721-5350
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