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Release Date: Sep 19, 2012

The Times Square History Tour and the Broadway Walking Tour will be offered from the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center starting mid-September

NEW YORK, N.Y.  - The Times Square Alliance has partnered with Manhattan Walking Tour and Walkin’ Broadway to announce two Official Times Square Walking Tours originating in the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center beginning this week. The Times Square Alliance completed a five month search, choosing these two official tour vendors from eight finalists. Each tour brings an exciting historical offering to help enrich the visitor experience at the Crossroads of the World. The Times Square History Tour, presented by Manhattan Walking Tour, will give a glimpse into Times Square’s vibrant past and provide the backstory for such historic traditions as the New Year’s Eve ball drop. The Broadway Walking Tour, presented by Walkin’ Broadway, will dive into the rich theater heritage of the Great White Way, including little known stories and backstage secrets from popular Broadway shows.

“Times Square has a rich history that many tourists and residents overlook as they walk through the area,” says Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. “Both the Times Square History Tour and the Broadway Tour translate the streets of midtown Manhattan into a historical exhibit as professional guides bring to life the creativity, energy, and edge that have made Times Square a cultural icon for a century.”

The Times Square History Tour will be led by a slate of official New York City tour guides in an intimate group setting, making guests feel as though they are being shown around the neighborhood by a local friend. Guests will uncover facts about the area’s history, architecture, and past residents, while learning the answers to curious questions such as “how did Times Square get its name?” Notable stops include the TKTS booth and iconic red steps, the original New York Times building featuring the New Year’s Eve ball, the theaters and attractions along 42nd Street, and Restaurant Row.

“Many tourists come to Times Square to see the famous buildings of today but have no idea how different the area was not very long ago,” says Gary Zafrani, founder and CEO of Manhattan Walking Tour. “Our goal, through this partnership with the Times Square Alliance, is to not only educate tour-goers on the past and present of Times Square but to give guests a slice of the Big Apple experience through our tour of the ‘Crossroads of the World’.”

The Broadway Walking Tour, led by charismatic Broadway insiders will take visitors through the theater district. Each guest will also have a personal headset that will enhance the experience with music from Broadway shows and exclusive interviews with Broadway greats like Hal Prince, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Gerald Schoenfeld and Stephen Schwartz. Theatermania is an official media partner of the Broadway Walking Tour. 

“The Broadway Walking Tour guide will share today’s tales and backstage secrets of the Broadway theaters, shows and the people that put it all together,” says Don Frantz, co-founder of Walkin’ Broadway and President of Town Square Productions. “The audio portion, hosted by my partner Elliott Forrest, offers a unique perspective into the past with 30 private memoirs from producers, actors, directors, designers and theater owners. It is the best of the past and present, and with our audio technology, our guests will not miss a word or a lyric while strolling the streets of New York.” Elliott Forrest is best known as the host of Breakfast with the Arts on A&E Television Network for 12 years, and he is currently heard on the radio in New York City on Classical 105.9FM WQXR and WNYC.

The Times Square History Tour lasts 60 minutes and leaves daily at 9:45AM, 11:00AM, 12:30PM, 1:45PM, 3:00PM, and 4:45PM. The Broadway Walking Tour lasts 90 minutes and leaves daily at 9:30AM and 11:30AM. Both tours cost $25 per ticket. The Broadway Walking tour will be available and free to NYPASS holders, and visitors are able to purchase CityPASS at the Times Square Museum and Visitor Center. For more information, tour times, and to purchase tickets go to www.timessquarenyc.org/tours.

About Times Square Alliance
The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square - cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. Founded in 1992, the Alliance keeps the neighborhood clean and safe, promotes local businesses, manages area improvements and produces major annual events with partners, including New Year's Eve, Solstice in Times Square and Taste of Times Square. As the custodians of Times Square, the Alliance works every day to improve the quality of life for the neighborhood residents and businesses while driving economic growth in New York City. www.TimesSquareNYC.org

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Media Contacts:
Gia Storms | (212) 452-5205 | gstorms@timessquarenyc.org
Kristen Bothwell | (212) 843-9227 | kbothwell@rubenstein.com