On Wednesday June 26th 2013, The New York Hilton Midtown hosted a 50th Anniversary press party for hundreds of the most influential members of the news media, as well as select guests and celebrities. We were honored to attend this event held in the fabulous Hilton Penthouse Suite overlooking midtown manhattan.
It was an evening of champagne toasts, amazing food prepared by Executive Chef Richard Brown, and fabulous memories, hosted by a hotel that has given great pleasure and fabulous service to millions of guests over its celebrated history.
2013 will always be remembered as a very special year for the New York Hilton Midtown, New York’s largest hotel. In preparation for its 50th Anniversary. the hotel had its name changed from the New York Hilton back to its original name, the New York Hilton Midtown. The name change served as an homage to the hotel’s 50 years of excellence in hospitality and to further delineate this property from the other 7 Hiltons in New York City. Mark Lauer, The Hilton Midtown’s GM was quoted as saying: “As we approach our 50th anniversary, it is a fitting tribute to restore the name that our founding father, Conrad Hilton, provided”,
The New York Hilton was officially opened in June 1963 by its founder Conrad Hilton who presided over the ribbon cutting. Located on Sixth Avenue between 53rd and 54th Street in Manhattan., the midtown Hilton, has 1981 rooms and spectacular suites. The hotel’s midtown location allows guests from all over the world, the opportunity to visit many of New York’s world famous attractions.. Within walking distance of the hotel, visitors can enjoy Radio City Music Hall, Moma, the Theater District, Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, and the famed shops and restaurants of 5th Avenue.
“ During 2013, the Hilton Midtown devised an action program that involves the hotels employees and the hotels guests . The program will help disseminate information about the hotel’s illustrious history and enhance the hotel’s legendary reputation for service. This program includes:
– 50 Random Acts of Hospitality: Throughout 2013, New York Hilton Midtown employees will engage in random acts of hospitality, where they will offer unexpected generosity to a random guest. Random Acts can include complimentary room upgrades, umbrellas on rainy days, and tickets to local attractions or events. The gift will come with a card that encourages the recipient to “pay it forward”— to perform a random act of kindness or generosity, as well.
An Insiders Guide 50 of New York City Landmarks– New York Hilton Midtown staff will develop a list of their favorite, iconic destinations in Manhattan with “insider’s tips,” such as days when entrance is free or at a reduced rate; special features, and other little-known facts.
New York Hilton Midtown has launched a dedicated site for the anniversary – http://www.hiltonnewyork50.com/ – where visitors can learn more about the hotel’s fascinating history and the special events that accompany the celebration.
Hilton Midtown’s Legenday History
New York Hilton Midtown’s renowned hospitality and generous proportions have brought millions of visitors and thousands of notables through its doors. As the largest hotel in New York City – with the city’s grandest, column-free ballroom – its proud history includes many celebrity “achievements.” Some of the historic highlights are listed below:
· 1964: New York Hilton Midtown experiences its own “British Invasion” when The Beatles arrive in New York to perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The famous rock n’ roll group visited the hotel and made a magnificent penthouse suite — with sweeping city views and a grand piano — their home throughout the visit.
· 1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono move to New York and stay at New York Hilton Midtown, where Lennon pens the lyrics to his most celebrated song, “Imagine,” on hotel note paper. The original lyrics are currently on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
· 1973: On April 3, Martin Cooper makes the world’s first public mobile phone call from a sidewalk outside New York Hilton Midtown, where he subsequently held a press conference announcing the landmark achievement. According to published reports, he called his development archrival Joe Engel, to rub it in. Forty years later, the National Academy of Engineering awarded Cooper its Charles Stark Draper Prize, often called the Nobel Peace Prize of engineering.
· 1982: Motown legend Stevie Wonder (a frequent visitor to the hotel) stops by the hotel to celebrate his own birthday. At 1:00 pm on May 13, 1982, Wonder entered the hotel’s Mirage Lounge and asked if he might play the grand piano. He played and sang with the crowd while New York Hilton Midtown staff quickly concocted a birthday surprise of cake, candles and champagne, so the hotel and guests could sing “Happy Birthday” and toast him in proper fashion.
· 1993: John F Kennedy, Jr., first dips his toe into the publishing world during a seminar held at New York Hilton Midtown, “How to Launch Your Own Magazine.” He subsequently launched George, an acclaimed “Not Just Politics as Usual” magazine that garnered a worldwide audience.
· 1995: Princess Diana is named “Humanitarian of the Year” by United Cerebral Palsy of New York during an awards ceremony held at New York Hilton Midtown.
· 2006-2007: Hilton New York Midtown, which has made multiple appearances on the big and small screens, takes a star turn in Spiderman III, American Gangster, El Cantante, Margaret, Michael Clayton, and Music & Lyrics.
· 2011: Scandinavian Heads of State, European royalty, top diplomats, and distinguished members of the U.S. and Nordic cultural, educational, business and philanthropic communities mark the 100th Anniversary of The American-Scandinavian Foundation (ASF) during the black-tie Centennial Ball in October. Dignitaries attending the event included: Her Excellency Tarja Halonen, President of Finland, Their Majesties Queen Sonja of Norway and King Harald V of Norway, Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Their Royal Highnesses Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Mrs. Dorrit Moussaieff and His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.
Hilton Midtown has always been involved in helping our environment and our community. In the past decade, the hotel has also become a leader in environmental sustainability and stewardship.
In 2007, the hotel installed a combustion-free PureCell system, which generates electric power and hot water throughout the hotel, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
– In 2009, New York Hilton Midtown was the recipient of -the 2008-2009 Environmental Recognition Program – “Green Street Award” – by the Avenue of the Americas Association for its environmentally-friendly energy fuel cell.
§ In 2010, the hotel completed a 16,000 square-foot green-roof system on its fifth floor roof to facilitate carbon capture, energy conservation and reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect.
§ A highly efficient co-generation plant, which became fully operational in 2013, now provides more than 50% of the hotel’s electrical power and more than 40% of the steam needed for heating and hot water requirements. It is the largest co-generation system of any New York City hotel, reducing New York Hilton Midtown’s carbon footprint by 30%.
Congratulations and Kudos to the Hilton Midtown for providing 50 years of extraordinary hospitality and service to New York City and millions of visitors from all over the world. Kudos to Hilton Midtown’s General Manager Mark Lauer, and to Mark Ricci, Hilton’s Northeast Director of Communications, for their gracious hospitality and for a highly enjoyable and memorable evening.