The battle to run the observation deck at the World Trade Center, expected to pull in annual profits in excess of $60 million, is heating up. In fact,the New York Times reports, the list of potential operators has been narrowed down to three. Shake Shack in the sky, anyone?
Sadly the three-level observatory won't have a Windows on the World-style restaurant, but it will have food options available, as well as an event space for private parties. So, who are the finalists?
- Legends Hospitality Management which is a company owned by the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys and David W. Checketts that "runs food services and merchandise sales at a number of stadiums and arenas."
- GSM Projects This Canadian company is working with Danny Meyer who owns Union Square Hospitality Group and its beloved restaurants like Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe and Shake Shack.
- Montparnasse 56 USA "an affiliate of the French firm that runs an observatory and restaurant at the Montparnasse Tower in Paris." The company recently bought the observatory on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago. For food they've "enlisted the Gerber Group, which operates the Whiskey Blue, Lilium and Living Room bars in New York, and Marc Murphy, the chef who owns the Landmarc restaurants in New York."
As we've said before, we definitely are favoring the Canadians/Danny Meyer on this one. Because if there is anyone who can make people feel good about waiting on an endless line to take an elevator up 1,200 feet—it would be the guy who taught New Yorkers to wait on an endless line for a burger.