Rumor: Discounts for "peaceful" protesters


According to NY Times (Aug 18, 2004),

"the Bloomberg administration will offer discounts to "Peaceful political activists" at selected hotels, museums, retail stores around during convention weeks… In offering the discounts, the city also has its economy in mind. Officials want to make sure that hotels and restaurant are as fully booked as possible during the convention week; many have reported that reservations are slow that week."

--Source: NY Times Aug 18, 2004 Section A; Column 1; Metropolitan Desk: pg. 1. (free subscription required)

In order to receive the discounts, protesters will have to wear a "Peaceful Protester Welcome" button that can be picked up at the Visitor Information Center .

This afternoon (8/22/04), I called the 5 hotels listed on the NY visitor's web site. Two out of five hotels (Dylan Hotel and New Yorker Hotel — A Ramada Inn and Plaza) were not aware of the special offers to protesters. The Ramada Inn reservation line is actually in North Dakota, and while the operator didn't know about the discount, she offered an internet special that was the same price advertised for protesters' discount. I also called 42nd Street Applebee's Restaurant. They confirmed the 10% discount listed on the NY visitor's website. The hotels cost between $150 - $360 per night. One has to wonder how many protesters on a budget can afford those hotels despite Mayor Bloomberg's "special offer".