Sunday, July 11, 2010

Behind the "Best Western Arena Hotel" and its "six blocks away" location

Well, the new Best Western Arena Hotel is in Bedford-Stuyvesant, but that has not stopped them from claiming proximity to Downtown Brooklyn, promoting (as in the graphic below) Brooklyn scenes at Fulton Ferry, and drawing a name from the two-years-away Atlantic Yards arena.


Six blocks away?

A press release claimed:
Located within walking distance to the Atlantic Terminal, guests have convenient access to a variety of attractions including the Barclays Center, future home for the Nets NBA team, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and the world-famous, Coney Island. Just minutes from the hotel, guests will also enjoy shopping at Atlantic Terminal Mall and Macy’s.

“Brooklyn is quickly becoming a top destination for tourists, business and leisure travelers, and with the new Barclays Center, a new sports arena for the New Jersey Nets scheduled to open in 2011, our hotel will be a great addition to the city,” said Mukesh Patel, owner of the Best Western Arena Hotel. “We are only six blocks from the new arena and the only hotel and first stop along the Long Island Rail Road, making it a convenient stay whether they're in the area for work or play.”
Um, the arena is scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.

Also, even the most generous interpretation of "six blocks"--starting at Nostrand Avenue (which should count as a half block away)--is wrong. A walker on the south side of Atlantic Avenue would have to walk seven quite long blocks (Bedford, Franklin, Classon, Grand, Washington, Vanderbilt, and Carlton avenues) before getting to the Sixth Avenue border of the arena site.

As for the Long Island Rail Road, the best arena access would be via the Atlantic Terminal stop. It would be 1.4 miles from the hotel address to the northeast corner of Atlantic and Sixth avenues, and probably about 1.5 miles to the actual arena entrance.

Short blocks in New York City are about 20 blocks to a mile, with the average for long blocks about seven avenues to a mile, the New York Times's 9/17/06 FYI column. That would make the arena hotel about 30 short blocks from the arena, or about ten long ones.


Press coverage

The Brooklyn Paper was skeptical, in an article headlined No arena yet — but Best Western Arena is open for business:

The Barclays Center basketball arena isn’t even built, but one hotel is already cashing in on it.

But the lodge — the Best Western Arena Hotel — is a bit of a pump fake: Yes, like the arena, it’s on Atlantic Avenue. But this basketball boardinghouse is actually a mile-and-a-half down the pike — between Nostrand and New York avenues, specifically.

That’s not an easy jumpshot, or even a three-pointer. That’s a buzzer-beater from the baseline.

Still, the “Best Western Arena” is the first high-profile business to take such explicit advantage of the controversial project, which won’t be completed, at the earliest, until fall, 2012.

Owner Mukesh Patel said he couldn’t worry about such small details — he has to stake his claim now!

“Once it opens up, there will be a big jump of business,” said Patel, whose hotel is ringed by auto repair shops. “It won’t just have basketball games. There will be concerts, conventions — almost 365 days of activities!”

Well, he's right that demand for hotel space is increasing, with many hotels being built Downtown and in the Gowanus area, but "365 days of activities" is quite a stretch. The arena sponsors most recently predicted over 200 events a year at the Barclays Center; ratings agency Moody's said there'd be 225 events but wouldn't defend its methodology.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, in an article headlined New Best Western Arena Hotel Opens at Crossroads of Bed-Stuy, Crown Hts, Prospect Heights, unskeptically reported:
Brooklyn now has a brand new Best Western hotel that’s open and ready for business.

Originally to be named Best Western Downtown Brooklyn, it was renamed Best Western Arena Hotel because of its proximity to the Barclays Center at Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development.

According to The Neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the location is well within Bed-Stuy, given that the border with Crown Heights is at Park Place; the Times, however, recently identified Atlantic Avenue as the borderline. Nor is the hotel location close to the border of Prospect Heights, which the book gives as Washington Avenue.

(Brownstoner, which picked up first on the press release, identified the location as Crown Heights.)

What it's like

Initial ratings on TripAdvisor are cautionary:
None of this matters because of the hotel's location on Atlantic Avenue where the elevated trains run all night. You will not get any sleep.

...This hotel is, as others said, new - it was pretty clean and, on the advice of others on this site, I asked for a back room. (The LIRR runs outside in front of the hotel and I would imagine it would be very noisy in the front of the building.)

3 comments:

  1. Given that most out-of-towners walk a good bit slower than do NYers, that mile-and-a-half stroll would probably take a good 40 minutes. And that stretch of Atlantic Avenue isn't exactly the Miracle Mile-and-a-half.

    But maybe LeBron, DWade, Chris Bosh and their teammates can bunk there when they're in town mopping up the floor with the Nets, since Bruce Ratner's office tower, which was to be home to a hotel, is still but a figment of his imagination.

    ReplyDelete
  2. it's funny that this place is listed in bed stuy, the folks over here at nostrand park seem to have claimed it for crown heights.

    either way, their promo materials could use some serious copy editing. there's plenty happening within legitimate walking distance of the hotel that they don't need to make this six-block nonsense up. And in terms of getting to downtown, couldn't they just offer customers a day pass on the LIRR? what tourist wouldn't love the idea of having a subway station right outside their door (or window as case may be)?

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1589 The Boutique Hotel is a good value for money, budget 2-3 star hotel in Jaipur,1589 The Boutique Hotel offers the luxury and budget traveler and his/her family a convenient and friendly accommodation

    ReplyDelete