If you make it up to the One World Observatory atop the new 1 World Trade Center, don't forget where your $32 is going
And don't forget where your money's going (see below)
My gosh, if they have that music blasting in the One World Observatory, I'm glad I'll never be going up there.
There's a whole list of things I become increasingly aware I'll never do in this lifetime. The list includes a lot of things I would have liked to do, or maybe once thought I might. And then there are a lot of things I can't say I much regret. And now I have one more thing to not regret: that I'll never set foot in the soon-to-open not-quite-top-of-the-tower One World Observatory of 1 World Trade Center.
How do I know? Because they're charging $32. I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: I will never pay $32 for this privilege. Actually, for seniors (65+) it's only $30. But I will also never pay $30 for this privilege. (For children 6-12 it's only $26, and for the 5-and-under it's free! It's also free for family members of 9/11 victims and for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. Military peeps get an unspecified discount.)
For those who are prepared to take the hit, you should know that the thing is scheduled to open on May 29, and tickets went on sale yesterday!
1 World Trade Center Observatory Opening in May
By Irene Plagianos
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Visitors will soon be able to soar 1,250 feet in the air, for a view atop the tallest skyscraper in the country.
One World Observatory, the three-story observation deck offering sweeping views of the city and beyond from 1 World Trade Center, is slated to open May 29.
Tickets, which cost $32, will be available for purchase starting Wednesday, officials said.
Visitors will be greeted by multimedia exhibits telling the story of the construction of One World Trade Center, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing views in every direction. Guides will be on hand to point out landmarks and answer guests' questions about New York City.
The 120,000-square-foot venue will include a casual cafe, a sit-down restaurant and a space for catered events.
Tickets will be sold for a scheduled day and time. Admission costs $32 for adults, $26 for children ages 6 to 12 and $30 for senior citizens ages 65 and up. Children 5 and under are free.
Family members of 9/11 victims will be able to get in free, as will 9/11 rescue and recovery workers. Members of the U.S. military will receive discounted admission.
The Observatory will offer several preview days before the officially opening on the 29th. On May 26, the deck will be open for local school students, on May 27, workers who helped build 1 WTC will be invited, and on May 28 there will be a first-come, first-serve open house for the general public. More details about the preview days will be released at a later date, officials said.
The Observatory will be open year-round. Through Sept. 7, it will run from 9 a.m. to midnight. The rest of the year will be on a 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. schedule, with extended holiday hours.
AND DON'T FORGET WHO COLLECTS YOUR $32
"The new observation deck is expected to create $875 million in revenue over 15 years."
--The Wall Street Journal, reporting in January
As you're whisked up in 60 seconds to the top of 1 WTC, you might think back to those awkward reports that surfaced back in January. Remember those? Hint: The contract to operate the observation floors was issued by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Does that ring a bell? Does it make you think of a certain chubby arm reaching across the Hudson River from New Jersey?
Here's the New York Daily News's January report:
Chris Christie helped give company co-owned by Jerry Jones contract to operate World Trade Center observation deck: report
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was on hand for the Dallas Cowboys’ Jan. 4 game against the Detroit Lions, as a guest of owner Jerry Jones.
By Leslie Larons, Adam Edelman
New York Daily News
Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Chris Christie’s all-expenses paid Dallas Cowboys vacation may end up costing him more than he thought.
The New Jersey Republican governor, whose trip to Dallas last weekend was paid for in full by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, reportedly pushed the Port Authority to approve a contract for a company that was partly owned by Jones.
According to The Wall Street Journal [behind paywall], Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo selected Legends Hospitality LLC in March 2013 to run the top-floor observation deck at One World Trade Center, following a “competitive public procurement process.”
The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, appointed by Christie and Cuomo, subsequently approved the proposed contract for the company.
Legends Hospitality is jointly owned by the New York Yankees, the Checketts Partners Investment fund and the Dallas Cowboys, which itself is owned and run by Jerry Jones. Officials have not disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but the new observation deck is expected to create $875 million in revenue over 15 years, The Journal reported.
Christie had come under fire in recent days for accepting from Jones tickets and travel to the Dallas Cowboys home game against the Detroit Lions last Sunday.
The governor’s office, however, has said that accepting the trip — as well as two prior similar ones — did not violate any laws. According to NJ.com, Christie’s office has cited Executive Order 77, which states that the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”
But if the latest allegations are, indeed, true, Christie would have seemingly violated state ethics rules that ban gifts to elected officials from people who they “deal with, contact or regulate in the course of official business.”
Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts said the governor’s office had no comment on the matter, referring reporters to remarks made by Yankees President Randy Levine, who sits on the Legends Hospitality board.
Levine told The Journal that Jones did not participate in the business deal with the Port Authority.
“To try and tie one to the other is silly,” he said.
On Monday, Roberts said Christie attended the game as a personal guest of Jones, “who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers.”
Despite the latest allegations, no love seems to have been lost between Christie and Jones, the owner of the governor’s favorite team since he was a boy.
“He’s part of our mojo. I want him there all the way,” Jones said in a radio interview Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, days after Jones and Christie were seen hugging in jubilation in the owner's box after the Cowboys win.
The spectacle was ridiculed on social media but Jones said the revelers were merely living in the moment.
“We were doing the same thing that everybody there was doing, that’s just absolutely expressing the joy of the moment,” Jones said.