The Spanish hotelier Axel Hotels will
bring its gay hotel chain to New York City in 2011, On Top
Magazine has learned.
Axel currently operates
“hetero-friendly” hotels in Barcelona, Berlin and Buenos Aires,
considered the gay capital of South America. Visitors can choose
between the typical “do not disturb” sign or the more risky
In an email, Renate Siebenhofer,
development director of the hotel chain, confirmed the group's plans
to open its fourth five-star hotel in the U.S.
“We are pleased to inform you that we
have been able to identify a site in New York we consider spot-on for
our group: The AXEL HOTEL NEW YORK will be located in Hell's Kitchen
and is slated to open its doors to the public in spring 2011,”
New York City is increasingly courting
the gay travel dollar.
Last year, in a marketing effort titled
Rainbow Pilgrimage Campaign, the city spent $1.9 million to promote
the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The riots,
which took place in Greenwich Village, are often credited with
sparking the modern gay rights movement when patrons of the Stonewall
Inn, mostly drag queens, rebelled against police harassment in 1969.
Rioters violently fought back against officers over the course of
Officials say an estimated 10 percent
of the city's 47 million visitors in 2008 were lesbian, gay, bisexual
The hotel chain's ambitious plans
include three additional U.S. hotels to be built in its most
gay-friendly cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Amsterdam, London, Paris and Miami are
considered high priority projects, according to internal documents.
The gay and lesbian tourism market is
red hot due in part to the fact that gays on average travel more
often and spend more. A 2006 study by the U.S. Travel Association
found that gay men spend an average of $260 more per trip than their