Does New Ground Zero Hotel Exploit or Embrace 9/11?

by  Stephanie Johnnidis | Mar 8, 2010
World Center Hotel  view of Ground Zero
World Center Hotel view of Ground Zero / Photo courtesy of the property

To many New Yorkers who lived in and around ground zero those nine years ago or to those who lost friends or family in the attacks (and even to those who didn’t), the concept behind the area’s newest hotel (built across from where the World Trade Center once stood) seems fairly crass. It’s all about 9/11 at the strategically named World Center Hotel, and the hotel’s marketing team has no qualms about using its memorial-side location to attract tourists; its website tastefully describes its position as “at the forefront of the World Trade Center’s revitalization and resurgence.” Yes, most coming to New York make it a point to visit ground zero to pay their respects, but do they really want to stay in a room that offers floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the 16 acres where the towers fell (now an active and noisy construction site)? Well, the folks behind the Word Center Hotel are banking that they do. It’s a morbid marketing maneuver for sure but perhaps being close to the site is what some people need to remember, to recover. There are several other area hotels, although, that offer similar “stirring” views but have not thought of their vistas as a selling point. Maybe they are late on the uptake?

What do you think? Is it too much too soon? Or is the World Center Hotel just trying to make the best of its neighborhood and its upcoming revitalization?

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