It's been pointed out (thanks, Joe) that some people have been scamming people (tourists, New York natives) into buying tickets to see Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates. The Gates is a free exhibit, as their website clearly spells out. However, this doesn't mean various other cottage industries haven't popped up to take advantage of this event. Newsday looked at how the city and businesses are hoping to profit. The city, which isn't paying for the project (it's funded by Christo and Jeanne-Claude's sale of drawings; they just need the city's sign-off), is projecting $80 million of business to be generated and $2 million in tax revenue. Plus:

The Central Park Conservancy is selling Gates souvenirs, including an $100 watch, signed posters for $450, and socks, sweatshirts and lanyards. A map detailing the gates locations, costs $5. Income from the sales will go to benefit nature and the arts in the city. NYC & Co. president Cristyne Nicholas said 50,000 room nights have been booked and Germans are coming in large numbers. Art is a huge draw, especially among international visitors, who spend more, she said.

The Mandarin Oriental hotel is offering a $1,050 package for one night which includes binoculars in rooms with park views and a Gates book. The restaurant Bolo is adding two saffron dishes to its Spanish menu. Gray Line will run trolleys through the park; the Metropolitan Museum will open its roof garden for a bird's eye view.

Yes, it's true: The Germans are coming, goldeny-orange is the new black, and for $1,050/night at the Mandarin-Oriental, you get "Binoculars in the room to view the Gates during your stay, Mandarin Oriental signature White Hot Chocolate & assorted goodies upon arrival, American Breakfast in Asiate for two daily, Book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Gates Exhibition in Central Park." Gothamist wonders if the guests get to keep the binoculars. Anyway, we love the idea of the Gray Line bus running through the park, especially if the weather is bad, but we'll be hitting the Met and then trying walking around.