NYC fashionistas vs. U.N. delegates

A general view of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: New York City is a busy place. Last week, the well-dressed crowded Manhattan for Fashion Week. And now diplomats from around the world are in town for the U.N. General Assembly. We wondered which gathering has a bigger economic impact on the city.

Here's Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson.


JEREMY HOBSON: The city doesn't keep track of how much money flows in when diplomats from 192 countries fly in for the U.N. meeting. But it does tabulate the receipts from Fashion Week. They add up to $385 million.

Ansell Hawkins, who runs the Chambers Hotel in midtown, says the two events are about the same in his book.

ANSELL HAWKINS: In hotel land it's called "heads in beds," so we're just as full now as we were then.

Which is not to say the economic impact is the same. He says the fashionistas are higher maintenance, but the diplomats have the old central bank credit card.

HAWKINS: They seem to have more cash or at least have access to more cash.

Not everyone is cheering the influx of visitors. Cab driver Jorge Maury says he hasn't gotten a boost from fashion week or the U.N. meeting. But he sure is getting annoyed by the traffic from all those limo motorcades.

JORGE MAURY: A lot of jams everywhere and it's kind of difficult to move around.

In fact, the average daytime car speed in Manhattan during the general assembly is 8 miles per hour.

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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