'Peaceful' RNC protesters to receive discounts from area businesses

In a PR appeasement attempt, NYC & Company, the city's official tourism-marketing organization, has offered incentives to Republican National Convention protestors who will protest peacefully.

In a PR appeasement attempt, NYC & Company, the city's official tourism-marketing organization, has offered incentives to Republican National Convention protestors who will protest peacefully.

The section geared towards protestors on the organization's website points to tax-free shopping, the extension of summer restaurant week, and a list of "summer fun in the city."

Additionally, those wearing a "peaceful political activist" button can receive discounts at area hotels, shops, and restaurants.

For example, the Dylan Hotel provides a discount for those who arrive early and stay until the end of the convention; the Whitney Museum offers a discount off admission price; and Agozar Restaurant offers a 15% discount of the bill.

"We would love to have [the protestors] come to the museum," said Meghan Bullock, communications coordinator for the Whitney Museum. "We hope that they will take the opportunity."

The museum will have a protest-themed exhibit, WAR! Protest in America, 1965-2004, during the convention, Bullock said.

Bullock added that RNC participants would also receive the discount if they show a ticket from the convention.

Kevin Slattery, VP of operations for luggage and leather goods provider, Crouch & Fitzgerald, said offering 20% to button-wearing protesters was a good business decision.

"It's going to be a hectic time in the city, and most of the people who are coming probably aren't going to be shopping as much as people think they might," Slattery said, adding that the store tries to pitch in with NYC & Company initiatives whenever it can. "It doesn't hurt me to [offer the discount]"

"Later this month, thousands of our fellow Americans will be coming to New York City to exercise their lawful right to protest during the Convention, said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in a release. "We want the many thousands of protestors to feel welcome and take advantage of all New York City has to offer."

Former mayors David Dinkins and Ed Koch, who also supported the decision, joined him at a press conference.

"The protestor welcome program is an innovative way to drive additional visitor spending that supports jobs and generates tax revenue that benefit all New Yorkers," Jonathan Tisch, NYC & Company's chairman, said in a release.

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