By David Brand
Queens Daily Eagle
More than 500,000 visitors from every corner of the world converge on the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center each year for the U.S. Open. This tournament, one local organization plans to show them that Flushing is more than just a tennis hub with a baseball stadium nearby.
Starting today, the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce will host Discover Flushing, a free walking tour series that takes place for throughout the tournament, which ends Sept. 9.
“Too many tennis fans come to the U.S. Open and never discover the world-class restaurants, shopping or history right next door,” said Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Choe, adding that the chamber designed this pilot program so “tennis fans can get back in time for the evening games, enjoy the some of the best food in New York, or kick back with a craft cocktail at one of our rooftop lounges.”
The program will show off Flushing world-famous food and expanding commercial sector and give visitors a chance to get some exercise before the matches begin.
Each one-hour Discover Flushing tour will begin at St. George’s Church and focus on the commercial corridors along Main Street, Roosevelt Avenue, Union Street and Northern Boulevard. The tour take place from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday with special extended tours beginning at 4 p.m. on Fridays.
“I’m a Flushing native and am excited to have the opportunity to tell visitors to Flushing about the remarkable changes I’ve seen over the last 70 years,” said Queens Borough Historian Jack Eichenbaum, who designed the route and selected the sites.
The tours will boost the local economy and foster connections with the neighborhood, said Rob MacKay of the Queens Tourism Council.
“Everybody knows that the U.S. Open is the country’s biggest and best tennis tournament, but it’s also a great contributor to tourism in Queens,” MacKay said “Thousands of people from all over the world come to our borough to enjoy top-notch sports drama, but they also enjoy our equally top-notch hotels, restaurants, and cultural venues.”
Space is limited and advance registration is required at flushingfantastic.nyc/tours.
But those who register will have an amazing opportunity to experience the dynamic neighborhood, said Council Member Peter Koo.
“The U.S. Open brings visitors from across the world right next door to the wide variety of attractions in downtown Flushing. This walking tour will help build the bridge between the Open and our community so that we can both share in the economic prosperity of this world renown sporting event,” stated Council Member Peter Koo. “Thank you to the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce for working to ensure the Flushing community is not overlooked.”