Empire State Building Sets Pathway to Return Tourism to NYC

The Empire State Building has made the pathway to return to NYC clear. People are eager to explore the city again and the Empire State Building’s safety protocols and WELL certification reinsures guests that they will be safe while having a fun experience. The Empire State Building’s decade-long commitment to Indoor Environmental Quality led the way with science-based measures to make the Observatory, and the entire building, as safe and healthy as possible for visitors to return. It is due to that commitment, and measurable policies and strategies to verify compliance, that on September 21, the Empire State Building was the first building to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating. The iconic Empire State Building Observatory safely reopened on July 20, with all of the WELL Health-Safety measures in place. 

The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types. The Rating recognizes the Empire State Building’s outstanding performance across five categories: cleaning and sanitization procedures; emergency preparedness programs; health service resources; air and water quality management; stakeholder engagement and communications. The WELL Health-Safety Rating certified the building for re-entry in a post COVID-19 environment. 

Visitor’s safety was a top priority when completing the Observatory’s $165 million dollar renovation, Indoor Environmental Quality standards such as MERV 13 filtration, the highest possible ventilation and active air purification were incorporated. The deployment of a state-of-the-art bipolar ionization air purification system is proven to neutralize 99.92% of coronavirus.  

The renovation enhanced the Indoor experience of the Empire State Building. A visit to the Building does not only include observation decks offering unmatched vistas of New York City but will immerse guests in the buildings iconic story through the exhibits on the 2nd and 80th floors. The 2nd floor exhibit depicts the site in the 1920’s with historical photography, life-like bronze sculptures and copper building models. Visitors will experience the excitement of The Empire State Building on the opening day in the 1930’s. Celebrity, Urban Campus and Kong are additional exhibits that are showcased during the visit. 

With reduced capacity by more than 80%, New Yorkers and tristate area residents will have an unmatched opportunity to experience the newly redeveloped Observatory, a New York for New Yorkers experience. Only 500 guests are allowed in the Observatories’ 70,000 square foot space at any time; this is well below the 25% capacity guideline set forth by New York State and City guidelines. This policy also allows for the separation of visitor groups by more than 18 feet. 

The Empire State Building Observatory reopened with new safety and guest protocols which target all the ways in which COVID-19 can spread; direct, indirect and aerosol. Since day 1, The building has required guests to social distance and wear masks.  Additional measures to protect visitors include timed ticketing, contactless temperature check, and reservations in advance at www.esbnyc.com. The Observatory staff have undergone extensive training on the use of Personal Protection Equipment, new cleaning and disinfection procedures, back-of-house protocol, and new service standards to ensure guests are safe while visiting the World’s Most Famous Building. 

 “Our work has been thorough with new training guidelines and customer service standards. We have taken measures with signage, distancing markers, hand sanitizers, and cleaning protocols to prevent the transmission of the virus,” stated Observatory President Jean-Yves Ghazi.  “As leaders we have posted our complete reopening program onwww.esbnyc.com for the public to view, both to give our guests confidence and to help guide other attractions in best practices. This WELL Health-Safety Rating confirms our continued efforts in sustainability and indoor environmental quality. The Empire State Building continues to put the safety of our visitors and employees as our top priority”. 

About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna top), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the “World’s Most Famous Building.” With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The Empire State Building was named the world’s most popular travel destination in a study conducted by Uber and was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit 








or www.pinterest.com/empirestatebldg

About Empire State Realty Trust

Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESRT), a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), owns, manages, operates, acquires and repositions office and retail properties in Manhattan and the greater New York metropolitan area, including the Empire State Building, the “World’s Most Famous Building.” . Headquartered in New York, New York, the Company’s office and retail portfolio covers 10.1 million rentable square feet, as of  June 30, 2020 consisting of 9.4 million rentable square feet in 14 office properties, including nine in Manhattan, three in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and two in Westchester County, New York; and approximately 700,000 rentable square feet in the retail portfolio.  Long the leader in energy efficiency retrofits and Indoor Environmental Quality, Empire State Realty Trust is the first commercial real estate portfolio in the U.S. to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating. 

About the International WELL Building Institute

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings, communities and organizations in ways that help people thrive. WELL v2 is the most recent version of its popular WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the WELL Community Standard pilot is a district scale rating system that sets a new global benchmark for healthy communities. WELL is focused exclusively on the ways that buildings and communities, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness. IWBI mobilizes the wellness community through management of the WELL AP credential, the pursuit of applicable research, the development of educational resources, and advocacy for policies that promote health and wellness everywhere. IWBI is a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative, and helps companies advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the use of WELL. More information on WELL can be found here

International WELL Building Institute, IWBI, the WELL Building Standard, WELL v2, WELL Certified, WELL AP, WELL Portfolio, WELL Portfolio Score, The WELL Conference, We Are WELL, the WELL Community Standard, WELL Health-Safety Rating, WELL Health-Safety Rated, WELL Workforce, WELL and others, and their related logos are trademarks or certification marks of International WELL Building Institute pbc in the United States and other countries.