A bust of a blizzard but what would you have done?

I woke up this morning half hoping to see mountains of snow in the streets, and people cross country skiing down 5th Avenue (I’ve seen that twice before in my twenty plus years in the city).  After all that was promised, I wanted to see Juno’s wrath, and revel in the power of Mama Nature.

But alas, alack, the streets were clear when I got up this AM.

The blizzard of 2015 that shut down Broadway and closed businesses all over town, costing the city and entrepreneurs millions and millions of dollars, was a big ol’ bust.

Grrrr.

Now I’m mad.

And of course, it’s easy to second guess the political leaders that revved us up about this storm . . . especially when you’ve been negatively affected by their decisions to close the MTA, institute travel bans, etc. that forced businesses (including Broadway) to close.

They made a decision . . . not unlike the many, many (did I say many) decisions Producers have to make every day.

They weighed the odds.  They assessed the risk.  They counted the millions that this could cost.  They counted the lives that could be lost.

And they made a decision.

And the storm didn’t live up to what the meteorologists thought.

Does that make the decision wrong?

No.

As a politician or a Producer, your responsibility is to analyze the data, talk to experts, and then make a decision . . . and stand by it, especially when criticized.

So much of business, especially Broadway business, is just like the weather . . . you can’t control it. You’re going to make decisions that cost people money.  You’re going to make decisions that make people money.

You’re going to be wrong sometimes.  And right other times.

The best businessmen and women are just right more often than they’re wrong.  And when they’re right, they’re soooooooo right, it makes you forget that they were ever wrong.
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Comments
  • Jared W says:

    As a New Yorker, my question is why was transit system shut down for a forecast 12″ – 18″ of snow. Even if we had received the maximum amount forecast, that is not an unheard of amount and there have been several similar snowfalls we’ve survived just fine in my 5 years of living here. They let their fear of the worse possible scenario blind them to the more likely and realistic one. There is plenty of space between “close everything” and “business as usual,” and I think they would have been better advised doing something in between those two extremes.

    • Rich Mc says:

      Completely agree, this was as an asinine decision without any seeming rationale, except (pure speculation) to deter potential looters from outer boroughs from entering & going wild in Manhattan during a potentially cataclysmic snowstorm. Of course, there has been a Media trend in place (to garner ratings) in recent years to over-hype the intensity of similar storms, and we shouldn’t be surprised.

  • Dara says:

    Making advance decisions based on an unpredictable weather forecast is never easy and often doesn’t end well … so I’m glad I’m not currently making them. But I agree with Jared – why did they go all the way to the extreme of total shutdown including mass transit?

    I do think that the driving bans in NJ and NY helped clear the roads for Tuesday morning a lot faster and I’m sure also reduced the number of accidents, injuries and disabled vehicles. Responding to those scenarios endangers the lives of first responders, tow truck operators, etc. So it seems like a good move. This is said as someone who didn’t have a need to drive anywhere on Monday night.

    As for the cancellation of shows and concerts on Monday, I’m sure it was a relief for cast and crew who don’t live in the city (like some friends of mine) and a major disappointment for ticketholders and those who have prepped for concert performances for weeks/months. It’s kind of a no win situation. This is again said as someone who didn’t have tickets or a vested interest in any of Monday’s activities.

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