Untapped New York Insiders at Little Red Lighthouse
Dear Untapped New York Readers, Insiders, and Tour Guests: This is a new update to our announcement from Friday regarding the activity of Untapped New York during the coronavirus COVID-19 situation. I will be blunt: as a company, we are being hit hard by coronavirus, but we plan to be here through it all with you. I founded Untapped New York in 2009 with the mission to get New Yorkers out and discovering the city, so this situation hits home in a visceral way. We are making rapid adjustments each day, and within each day, in response to the latest news to ensure that our activities are morally responsible for our tour guests, our Insiders members, our team of tour guides and staff, our readers, and the greater community of New Yorkers.
At this time, none of our staff, tour guides, our guests have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are in quarantine, or self-quarantine, though all of our staff are practicing recommended actions of self-isolation. Detailed below, are our actions as of today, March 16, 2020. But beyond these actions, which will take us through the next few months, we remain undaunted. There are things to look forward to on the horizon — new experiences we’re working on for the summer, unique content on our magazine, and possibly (finally) the launch of our podcast. We recognize that the next few months will be hard, coronavirus is having a significant impact on the financials of our business, but we are taking internal actions to sustain as long as possible.

Tours and Experiences:

  • All tours and Insiders events for the next two weeks are postponed. If you have bookings to our public tours that are being postponed, you will receive an email regarding your booking. We are offering rescheduling and credits, which can be applied to any of our experiences and have no expiration date.
  • Bookings will continue to be taken for future tours and dates are available on many of our tours through the rest of the year
  • We will evaluate the situation weekly thereafter and provide clear, transparent updates through our website, social media, and by email to affected guests.
  • For our wonderful guides: We are ensuring that all of our tour guides are paid for the work done prior to today and are reaching out to each guide to check in with them and to remind them to send invoices for their work so they can be paid. We recognize how difficult the situation is for all freelancers out there and are doing our best to support our guides through this.
  • What we’re working on for the future: Our Chief Experience Officer Justin Rivers is working directly with our guides on developing new experiences that can launch in the future (and developing new tours himself!). We are working on adding public tours and Insider events for May and through the summer, so you can look forward to experiences like accessing the Little Red Lighthouse, the Marble Cemetery, and many more very exciting events which will be announced shortly! You can keep on the lookout for our schedule of Insiders events here and our public tours here.

Editorial Content

  • We will be publishing a daily digest of coronavirus news each morning, pulling together the relevant information that is helpful (and hopefully also sometimes uplifting). Here is today’s digest. You can sign up for our daily newsletter here.
  • Maintaining our editorial content schedule: We will be doing what we do best, provide historical and well-researched context to current events, along with surprising information to make you smile or see the city (virtually) with a sense of wonder. Here are some latest articles: 13 Times Broadway Went Dark, NYC’s Former Quarantine Islands and Hospitals, The Strange Story of Typhoid Mary.
  • For a daily uplift, I’ll be recording a piece on the cello each day and putting it on my Instagram and Twitter. It’s been 20 years since I graduated the Juilliard School, so I’m a bit rusty but I hope the music therapy can benefit anyone going stir crazy over the next few weeks.
  • Launching a Podcast? We’ve had requests from our readers to launch a podcast! You read our minds, and since we’ve been attempting to launch a podcast since 2015, we have all of the equipment ready to go and even some scripts written. We hope we can get this off the ground soon.

How You Can Help:

This will be a difficult time for Untapped New York financially, like many other small businesses in New York City. We believe we can make it through the 2+ months this situation is currently expected to last. If you are able, you can help us out in five ways:

  1. Read and share our editorial content! Sign up for our daily newsletter here.
  2. Buy a Gift CardLook forward to a future tour or experience with us with friends and family.
  3. Book tickets to a future tour: dates are available on many of our tours through the rest of the year.
  4. Become a member of Untapped New York Insiders

We want to hear from you! Untapped New York was created as a community, and this remains our utmost priority. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for any reason, even if to chat. Your messages to us during this time have been heartening, inspiring, and uplifting. We can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and by email. For questions about tours, contact [email protected]. For questions regarding our Insiders member events, you can email [email protected]. For editorial and general comments and questions, email [email protected].
Michelle Young and the Untapped New York Team