With a conventional and easy-to-remember domain name like NewYork.com, promising tools and features are expected.
Now all the new site needs is for more people to know about it.
NewYork.com is hoping to gain additional traction after kicking off their launch party on Wednesday night with a red carpet event at Arena Event Space in Times Square. Kevin Bacon and Maria Menounos were just two of the celebrities on hand for the festivities. The site, owned by Entertainment Benefits Group which also operates BestofVegas.com and BestofOrlando.com, may already have the brand awareness it was seeking, with nearly 38,000 likes on Facebook, and more than 6,000 followers on Twitter.
Domain names that are so simple and basic come at a price. Brett Reizen, the company’s chief executive officer, wouldn’t disclose how much the company paid for NewYork.com but said they made a substantial investment to acquire ownership, operate, and manage the domain. The importance of the name appears to be worth it based on Reizen’s enthusiasm for its future, and edge over competing sites.
“There is no single site like this,” said Reizen, in an interview with IB Times.
Reizen added that “there is not a comprehensive site out there” for things like maps, booking Broadway shows, sightseeing, and fascinating facts about the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He emphasized the site’s “visitor aspect and local aspect,” and its strong relationship with customers and partners.
Indeed, a visitor to the site can navigate everything from a job to an apartment. One can also purchase tickets for “the best classes for meeting New Yorkers” and find top nightlife spots.
A one-stop shop for all that is New York could be an invaluable tool for the roughly 52 million tourists that visited New York in 2012, not to mention for the nearly 19 million metro-area residents. Marketing partnerships and commissions are just a couple revenue streams for EBG, yet the site isn’t overly saturated or intrusive with advertisements, and appears to cater to both locals and visitors equally. The simple and clean feel is probably a breath of fresh air for Internet users who are tired of pop-up ads and links flooding the entire home page.
Like any site that offers reviews, there will always be questions about the standards for things like ratings, and NewYork.com gets their listings from several prominent sources, such as Zagat. Type in “$$$$$” for Italian cuisine and Scalini Fedeli only gets 4.5 out of five stars? Del Posto earns just four, while sharing the same rating as the rather over-hyped Pastis?
There are still perhaps some kinks to be worked out on NewYork.com. For example, The Beatrice Inn, the highly popular and chic steakhouse, re-opened their doors over a year ago, yet can’t be found on the site other than in a mention in a review of Lower East Side hot spot Chloe 81. Established sites like Yelp, Grub Street, and Urbanspoon have ample coverage of The Beatrice Inn. Meanwhile, finding a ticket to a New York Mets baseball game is probably easier using Stub Hub.
Such criticism is probably trivial considering the youth of the site, and the growth potential it may have to become a mainstay on New Yorkers’ iPhone bookmarks. It may also be a must-have for new residents, and every Big Apple newbie who purchased a “Not For Tourists” book can probably relate to preferring the free App over the weight of carry one in the calf pocket of cargo pants. Reizen believes NewYork.com works great on tablets, and EBG is developing a mobile site, meaning more and more pedestrians will be accessing the burgeoning compass for a thriving metropolis.
NewYork.com, with the tagline "Connected to Everything," might in fact be a website location that, as Reizen explains, “brings value for everyone.”