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As Gold as Ice

Abbe Lewis / July 8th, 2013

On June 26, 1963, hotelier Conrad Hilton officiated the ribbon-cutting of the New York Hilton Midtown on Sixth Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets in Manhattan. Fifty years later, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared June 26, 2013, as New York Hilton Midtown Day, in celebration of the property’s golden anniversary.

To mark the milestone, the hotel is celebrating in takes many ways, including the “50 Random Acts of Hospitality,” where employees offer random acts of generosity to guests throughout the year, including room upgrades and tickets to Broadway shows or baseball games. Included with each act is a card encouraging the guest to pay it forward.

“Our guests have responded favorably and our employee morale has increased. We have even received guest feedback, including a handwritten letter from a woman who was so thankful for an umbrella an employee presented with her on a rainy day,” says Kellie Cahill, director of sales & marketing of the property.

The hotel staff has also contributed to the “Insider’s Guide to 50 NYC Landmarks,” a list of favorite New York City destinations with personal tips and factoids.

In addition to the 50th anniversary, the property welcomes minus5˚ ice bar, the first ice bar in the city and the third in the country. Created by Craig Ling in 2001 in New Zealand, everything in the bar—the tables, benches, walls, drinking glasses, and bar itself—is made of 100 percent ice, with the internal temperature resting at a cool -5˚ C (23˚ F). Guests have their choice of sipping on cocktails, mocktails, Champagne, or sake, while admiring hand-carved pieces by renowned ice sculptor Peter Slavin. While a food menu is currently not available, it hasn’t been ruled out for a future date. Then those VIP ers (which includes a package of faux fur hats and jackets) could enjoy some noshes with their Frozen A$$ets cocktail. Très cool.

To learn more about the hotel’s history, visit the newly launched hiltonnewyork50.com.