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Tourism: Businesses cater to travelers clamoring for high-end, 'unique' New York experiences


These days, a simple carriage ride around Central Park is for amateurs. Done right, the ride should end at a shady spot where a catered picnic lunch is waiting, complete with blankets, artisanal cheeses, Prosecco and, of course, hidden staffers to whisk it all away afterward.

The cost: about $900 to $1,200 from high-end tour company Beyond Times Square.

Horse-drawn rides are just one of the many New York tourist activities that are getting souped up. Tourism businesses are increasingly catering to sophisticated travelers willing to splurge for one-of-a-kind experiences. In the process, they are reimagining Big Apple standbys while inventing ever-more customized outings.

"We have people who've been to New York quite a few times, and they say, 'We've already done this and this; what do you have for us?' " said Eric Gordon, who founded Beyond Times Square in 2003...

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