NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Authorized vendors in the Battery say they’re losing business to illegal vendors, not costumed characters.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, Statue Cruises is the only line that takes tourists to the island, but their COO, Michael Burke, said illegal vendors are shiphoning off potential customers with lies.

“We’ll intervene if we’re standing there and tell people that they’re not going to the statue; that in fact, we’re not closed today, that we’re not sold out,” said Burke.

Burke said his complaints to the parks department have been ignored.

“They claim that they don’t have a budget. They’ve asked us to contribute upwards of a half million dollars to enforcement,” he said.

WCBS 880 approached the alleged illegal vendors, and they quickly dispersed, Diamond reported.

“Nah, we don’t want to talk,” said one vendor.

Statue Cruises said the illegal vendors not only hurt their business, they cost the city thousands in lost tax revenue.

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