One World Observatory, the observation deck atop the newly-built One World Trade Center building in lower Manhattan, gets set to open to visitors, offering 360-degree views of New York. Pavithra George reports
A panoramic view of New York courtesy of the One World Observatory - sitting atop the recently-completed One World Trade Center built where the Twin Towers stood before they collapsed in the September 11 attacks. At a height of more than 1200 feet, visitors can take in views of Lady Liberty, New York's famous skyline and the shores of Brooklyn and New Jersey---all from the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Taking guests to the top are elevators called Skypods that zip to the 102nd floor in just 47 seconds, while playing a time-lapse video showing New York City's changing skyline from the 1500s to the present. David Kerschner, of Legends, the company that operates the observatory, says visitors will be impressed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE KERSCHNER, PRESIDENT OF LEGEND'S ATTRACTIONS, SAYING: "Because rather than being just an elevator ride up, seeing the beautiful view and an elevator ride down, we've created a 45-minute to an hour entertainment experience." Legends expects the observatory to bring stiff competition to similar observation decks at Rockefeller Center and the Empire State building, although Kerschner acknowledges that memories of September 11 may keep some guests away. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVE KERSCHNER, PRESIDENT OF LEGEND'S ATTRACTIONS, SAYING: "I think everyone has to do what they think is right for themselves when it comes to that decision. I think that those that decide to come visit us will find that we leave them with the feeling of bold optimism for the future and a great feeling after their here and they see the view all that we've done. But of course I respect everybody's decision as to what action they should take." The observatory opens to the general public on May 29 and already some 350,000 tickets have been sold or reserved - for an up-close look at a building that rose from the ruins of a tragedy.