The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the September 11th Fund working with NYC & Company celebrated the official opening of the Chinatown kiosk in Lower Manhattan December 15, 2004. The kiosk is part of the Explore Chinatown campaign to promote Chinatown as a tourism destination, promoting the area's attractions, restaurants and retail shops. The kiosk is bounded by Canal Street, Walker Street and Baxter Street.
"Chinatown is bustling with activity and this kiosk is a great way to highlight the area to the hundreds-of-thousands of visitors that come each year to shop, dine, and visit the Chinatown historical sites," said LMDC President Kevin M. Rampe. "The location of the kiosk and new plantings and landscaping are the result of the collaborative efforts of the LMDC, NYC Department of Transportation, and NYC Parks Department and I want to thank Commissioner Weinshall and Commissioner Adrian Benepe for their commitment to this project. I also want to recognize the efforts of our partner in the Explore Chinatown campaign, the September 11th Fund, without which none of this would be possible. This information center will not only help the area's recovery, but will itself serve as a symbol of the community's rich cultural art."
"We are delighted to help visitors to New York City discover more of the exotic world that exists in Chinatown," said Carol Kellermann, CEO of The September 11th Fund. "Thanks to this much-needed kiosk, everyone now has a personal contact in Chinatown who will direct them to the antiquities, textiles, unique delicacies, glittering gems and colorful decorations that make this wonderful part of the city so breathtakingly beautiful and exciting."
"The new Chinatown Visitor Information Kiosk gives travelers access to the resources they need to effectively navigate the area's colorful landscape of cultural attractions, restaurants, shops, and special events," said Cristyne L. Nicholas, President and CEO of NYC & Company, the city's official tourism marketing organization. "Projects such as the visitor information kiosk help support our $23 billion tourism industry, by creating awareness for notable New York neighborhoods like Chinatown, as well as generating substantial visitor spending and supporting nearly 300,000 jobs in all five boroughs."
"Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki, organizations such as DOT, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and countless others have worked tirelessly to restore vitality and commerce to Lower Manhattan," said DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall. "This kiosk, which will provide information on all there is to see and do in Chinatown, marks one more step towards recovery."
"This project is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts between the City and LMDC, and represents another step in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan," said the Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "This kiosk will provide information to community members and visitors to Lower Manhattan alike."
The kiosk features a red and gold dragon and a neon pagoda roof, merging old and new traditional Chinese designs. The western wall will contain an eight-foot translucent map of the area that showcases many of the diverse destinations in Chinatown. The kiosk is funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the September 11 fund and is staffed by NYC & Company. The Explore Chinatown campaign is a $2 million marketing and tourism program sponsored by LMDC and the September 11th Fund to build awareness and increase revenues for Chinatown businesses which suffered economically from the events of September 11th.
The campaign highlights this rich history and future events through various means such as the website www.ExploreChinatown.com, brochures, advertising, and through the news media.
Future initiatives to highlight the community include advertising Chinatown on 40% of the subway fleet and planning for next year's Lunar New Year parade February 9 and the Chinese New Year parade February 13, 2005.
A working group, now in its second year, meets monthly to discuss current community issues and to provide feedback to the Explore Chinatown campaign partners. The group is comprised of representatives from elected officials, several business leaders and community residents. The campaign partners include representatives from LMDC, Asian Women in Business, Dentsu Communications, M.Silver Associates and NYC & Company.
Shelter Express Corp. from Long Island City designed, constructed and will maintain the kiosk.