ON THE JOB HUNT: N.Y.'s Upscale Hotel Market Shows Life

What recession?

Despite growing concerns that the economy is pulling back once again -- the dreaded double-dip recession -- the New York hotel market is on a roll. There are 44 new hotels to set to open this year, and the Big Apple will see the addition of 7,561 new rooms to its inventory.

With all of those new rooms comes something else: jobs.

Michael Achenbaum, president of the Gansevoort Group, which just opened its second upscale hotel in New York on the city's posh Park Avenue, said that new project will bring 420 jobs. He expects the new hotel to be a wild success, as room-rates and occupancy levels steadily rebound from the market's downturn.

"New York is totally different from the rest of the country," Achenbaum said. "People want to be in New York for business and social reasons, and New York City will always rebound faster."

Industry analyst Sean Hennessey agrees that the New York market tends to bounce back more quickly than the rest of the country, due to international and business travelers."New York is far and away the No. 1 travel destination for international travelers and when the corporate market goes away, it is affected most in New York," Hennessey said. "So we're seeing a pick-up in corporate travel and meetings nationally, but not nearly the pick-up we saw in New York."

Achenbaum's other location, Gansevoort Meatpacking, opened in 2004 and was instantly a destination on the New York nightlife circuit. The meatpacking location has reported occupancy levels of 96% over the past four months, which bodes well for the brand's newest location, which boasts larger rooms and amenities like a 24-hour business center for corporate travelers.

The Park Avenue location soft-opened in August and hotel representatives said it was sold out earlier this week during New York's Fashion Week.

Achenbaum hopes to continue to expand the hotel brand, though there are no specific plans underway at the moment.

"We're looking at different areas in New York, and we are looking to expand to London and Paris as well," Achenbaum said. "We really want to hit all the main places our clients

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