The Sequester Ruins...Fleet Week's Gay Nightlife?
If you tuned into this afternoon's dour White House press briefing, you would have heard a lot about...dun dun dun...the sequester. Several public goods are going to get mercilessly slashed as the cuts begin to take effect, and they go something like this: Head Start, Meals on Wheels, food facility inspections, safe flying, and...Fleet Week's gay nightlife.
That's right. The last item wasn't put in front of White House press secretary Jay Carney, but DNAInfo reports that because Fleet Week, the annual celebration of sailors coming into port in May, has been canceled due to federal budget constraints, gay-friendly West Side bars and restaurants will be feeling the loss more deeply than most.
"It was worth a good 10 percent bump in business," Rob Hynds, owner of two gay sports bars in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen, told the paper.
Overall, the city's Economic Development Corp. estimated that the city will bleed $20 million in lost tax revenue and hospitality-related activities. Last year was the first Fleet Week celebration after the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and it looked something like this.