Many Washington, N.Y. landmarks stay shut

WASHINGTON -- In Washington, the White House, the Capitol and the National Cathedral remained closed the day after the Sept. 11 attack, but other major parks, monuments and memorials re-opened.

Tourism officials were quick to point out that nothing in the District of Columbia sustained any damage in the attack on the Pentagon, which is across the Potomac River in Virginia.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the Washington Convention and Visitors Association said its members focused on the short-term problem of getting accurate and timely information to visitors who were stranded in the city, or whose inbound trips were disrupted, because of the suspension of air service.

For the long term, a spokesman confirmed "there could be ramifications" in the form of a downturn in business, even though Washington bills itself as "one of the safest and most secure cities in the country."

Group and convention clients could be especially concerned, the spokesman said, adding "they're going to need reassurance; we're going to reach out to them."

Meanwhile, in New York, the tourism industry came to a virtual halt as the city scrambled to cope with the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster.

At press time, the New York Police Department said no one above 14th Street would be allowed to cross south, and Rudolph Giuliani, the city's mayor, urged people not to come into Manhattan. Hotels in lower Manhattan were caught in the carnage.

Television reports showed the mangled structure of the Marriott World Trade Center, which was adjacent to both of the twin towers.

Shortly after the incidents, Marriott said both the World Trade Center property and the Marriott Financial Center, a few blocks downtown from the center, had been evacuated.

A Marriott spokesperson confirmed the World Trade Center hotel had suffered "irreparable damage." She reported the Marriott Financial Center suffered "heavy damage," but said hotel officials would not know the full extent of the damage until they could survey the scene.

The spokeswoman added that the company was putting up displaced guests in its other New York hotels.

Hilton said its two hotels near the World Trade Center, the Hilton Millenium and the Embassy Suites Battery Park, had both been evacuated, and no injuries had been reported at either property.

Throughout the city, hotels were pitching in to accommodate emergency service workers.

The Rihga Royal Hotel opened its doors to as many as 25 relief workers who were put up in meeting rooms or guest rooms that were under renovation.

The Marmara Manhattan is providing rooms to emergency workers "as the need arises," said Wendy Kleinman, director of sales.

The National Park Service in Washington reported that two sites in New York -- the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island -- remain closed and it was unclear when they would reopen.

A Park Service spokeswoman said the grounds may be used as temporary morgues for bodies or remains that are recovered from the World Trade Center site.

All Broadway and Off-Broadway shows were canceled Sept. 11 and 12. Ticketmaster and Telecharge were accepting reservations for shows scheduled to resume on Sept. 13.

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