After being closed since March of last year, the iconic and luxurious Plaza Hotel will finally reopen as the city looks to welcome back more tourists.
Tea and champagne will start flowing again Thursday and the historic hotel that overlooks Central Park is set to begin taking reservations for rooms, spa and the famous Palm Court.
"Generations of New Yorkers have been here with their uncles and aunts and grandmothers since they were children and as adults to enjoy the afternoon tea and they keep coming," said hotel managing director George Cozonis.
The Plaza's reopening comes just a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order that eliminates the 5.875% hotel room occupancy tax rate for three months, starting June 1. The move will allow hotels to lower the cost of their rooms, de Blasio said, which could urge tourists to return.
Get Tri-state area news and weather forecasts to your inbox. Sign up for NBC New York newsletters.
“As our COVID rates continue to plummet and we continue to drive a recovery for all of us, tourists will be coming back to New York City in droves. We’re ready for them,” the mayor in a statement said Wednesday. “By eliminating the hotel room occupancy tax for this summer, we’re accelerating our economic recovery, saving jobs and providing relief for one of our hardest-hit industries.”
A number of industries worldwide were impacted by the ongoing health crisis, with the hotel industry among the hardest hit due to not only travel restrictions but the fear of traveling while in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.
"The temporary occupancy tax waiver is a much needed lifeline that is strongly welcomed by the beleaguered hotel industry,” said Vijay Dandapani, the CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City.
Since it first opened its doors on Oct. 1st, 1907, The Plaza Hotel has become a New York landmark, and filming location ("Home Alone 2," "Sleepless in Seattle"), hosting world leaders, dignitaries, captains of industry, Broadway legends and Hollywood royalty.