Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on August 5, 2008
Some property developers might be peeved with ‘The Dark Knight,’ as I wrote about on the Eye on Asia blog recently, but executives at local five-star hotel chain Shangri-La know a good thing when they see it. With the Batman movie smashing the $400 million mark and now possibly even threatening all-time box-office champ “Titanic,” the Shang’s promoting Hong Kong as a destination to fans of the film. “Even Batman Got Starry Eyed Over Hong Kong,” writes the hotel’s “Heart Talk” columnist Yeoh Siew Hoon in its most recent corporate newsletter. “I think everyone, after having seen ‘The Dark Knight,’ is going to want to visit Hong Kong, if only to stand atop its tallest building, the IFC, just like Batman did in the movie.”
If so, they’re going to be mighty disappointed. Hong Kong may have the most impressive skyline this side of Manhattan, but good luck finding a skyscraper with a top-floor observation deck. Maybe top decks are off limits to tourists for security reasons? Could be. But New York’s Empire State Building still manages to let tourists go to the top, even though for obvious reasons there’s good reason to worry about terrorist threats. I suspect the reason is the interest of property developers in selling out lucrative space with the best views to high-paying tenants. The closest you can get to the top of the IFC building featured in “The Dark Knight” is the 55th floor. If the air is good, your view from there won’t be bad. But unless you have special bat powers, you won’t get anywhere near the top.