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New Year’s Eve a priceless marketing tool for NYC

Stacey Vanek Smith Dec 30, 2011

Adriene Hill: Get the resolutions ready and the champagne chilled, New Year’s Eve is almost here. The top destination this year, according to Priceline.com, is none other than New York City. It edged out reigning champ, Las Vegas.

While New York’s bash is not cheap, it has some serious pay-offs, as Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek Smith reports.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Whether you’re at a fabulous party sipping Cristal or on your couch in a Snuggie, chances are, you will be counting down the last seconds of 2011 with Dick Clark in Times Square.

Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest: Three. Two. One. Happy New Year!

The event costs millions, from the big police presence to the fireworks to the musical acts — Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga this year.

Jeffrey Strauss is president of Countdown Entertainment, which produces Times Square New Year’s Eve. He says it’s money well spent: A billion people tune in.

Jeffrey Strauss: This year we’ll be live on CCTV in China, you’ll see it in Europe, you’ll see it in South America. That is an advertisement, a promotion to come and visit New York City.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists come for the big night and spend $24 million on hotels, meals and event tickets. Strauss says being there is priceless.

Strauss: The mayor pushes that crystal button and we begin to count down and you can feel it — it’s tremendous.

This was a record setting year for tourism in New York: 50 million people visited the city.

In New York, I’m Stacey Vanek Smith for Marketplace.

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