Pope to boom NYC economy

Businesses prepare for the crowds that follow Pope
April 14, 2008 12:28:27 PM PDT
When the pope comes to New York next week, businesses are hoping they can bank on his many followers.From trinkets to tacos, local businesses are hoping that people flocking to see the pope will spend money while they're there.

Eyewitness News reporter Phil Lipof has more.

Massive crowds of people follow Pope Benedict XVI wherever he goes, and New Yorkers are eagerly awaiting his arrival. Businesses are hoping those crowds follow him right here to New York City.

Some, like Chris Sidires, are doing more than just hoping. He's banking on it.

For the last 26 years, Chris has been serving his customers at the Hourglass Tavern in the theatre district.

He lost 50 percent of his business during the Broadway strike, so he's hoping the pope's visit will be the financial boost his family-owned restaurant needs.

"We're going to be much better because everyone is going to come to see him," he said. "He's a big name."

A new pope making a historic visit. It's good for the everyone, except maybe those who get stuck in traffic.

"The reality of it is that he's a well-respected, universally admired person around the world," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC and Co. "And this kind of a visit really enhances the opportunity for people to experience it."

From hotels juggling people from all over the world to the tour buses ready to show those folks what New York City is all about, the City that Never Sleeps will be working overtime.

It will be difficult to figure out exactly how many people come into the city to see the pope. But one thing all experts agree on is that it will be good for business.