Well it's not about the chains, it is about the mass concentration of tourists in one area. In addition to the chain (and non chain) restaurants. the Theatre District is right there,, as well as hotels which offer tourists a central NYC location. The streets are just as packed in and around Times Square as they are on the Strip, and the traffic surrounding it can be just as bad. Am I saying it's exactly the same? Of course not - how could it be? No city's tourism is exactly the same as another's. There is no other city in the world like New York (just like there is no other place like Las Vegas). The Strip is very unique in that it is one long stretch of tourism, while in most other cities, the bulk of the tourism is not isolated like it is on The Strip, it is in the midst of the local citizens going about their day-to-day lives. The one thing NYC has is that it is a very walkable city and the subway and bus system allows for easier exploration than many other cities. Even though there are tourists all over Manhattan, they do seem to gather en masse in Times Square, and the same reasons why Vegas locals might avoid the Strip are the same reasons a New Yorker (and I am speaking for myself here) might try and steer clear of Times Square.