Ground Zero hotel’s ‘selling point’ creates controversy

A new Manhattan hotel is marketing its proximity to Ground Zero as a selling point, and creating a stir among those trying to preserve the memory of friends and family lost during the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

The World Center Hotel, opened by Club Quarters Inc., is currently accepting reservations for its rooms that boast “floor-to-ceiling ‘window walls'” offering “unfettered views of the rising Freedom Tower and National 9/11 Memorial & Museum,” according to the hotel’s Web site.

In response to the controversy, the hotel issued this statement to Fox News:

“We at the World Center Hotel reference our location on our website and in our marketing because our location is an important part of our hotel’s identity. The World Center Hotel, being across from both the World Financial Center and the rising World Trade Center, was designed primarily for business travelers, but leisure travelers also appreciate our downtown location.

“Some guests may feel emotional about the proximity to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, however, and choose not to stay at our hotel. Others are encouraged that, after so many years, the site is finally being transformed into a fitting Memorial, and they want to see the progress being made there.

“Either reaction is entirely legitimate. We feel strongly that business and economic growth is good for our city, and that the rebirth of downtown New York City does not in any way diminish the remembrance of the tragic events of nearly nine years ago. We are very respectful of the emotions involved, and we share them. But, we are also proud to be a part of the long-term revitalization of Lower Manhattan.”

While Manhattanites continue to protest the PR campaign put forth by the hotel, the 169-room hotel continues to market to the 7.1 million people that are estimated to visit the 9/11 Memorial Preview site when it officially opens.