NY’s 50-person limit is killing hotels’ crucial event business, Marriott Syracuse owner says

Syracuse, N.Y. — New York’s 50-person limit is killing weddings and other group events that are a vital part of business at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the city’s historic landmark hotel.

Owner Ed Riley, who brought the former Hotel Syracuse back from the dead in 2016 with an $82 million renovation, said New York’s 50-person limit on gatherings is unreasonable for venues like his that have large ballrooms and depend on weddings and other group events for their livelihood.

“These edicts come out from the state, and they’re very vague,” he said.

New York limits gatherings such as weddings, conferences and parties to 50 people as part of its effort to contain the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus and Covid-19, the sometimes-deadly respiratory disease it causes.

The 50-person limit applies no matter how large a function room is. That’s different than the state’s 50% rule for restaurants, which

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