Friday, October 12, 2012

Why are NY hotels grumbling?

Dear Readers,

I wanted to publish my thoughts on the hotel versus non-hotel situation re. the passing of bill S6783 which was sponsored in large part by the hotels themselves, as it befits our segment of the industry, the few registered tax paying bed and breakfasts in Manhattan.

Is it, I ask, that hotels in New York City are truly concerned about losing out to the likes of us, a tiny fish in a big ocean? The fact that they might be boggles my mind. Take for instance the Beacon Hotel, a nearby place we like to recommend for our overspill should other area b and b's be booked. They have well over 200 rooms to our 4 -- smaller rooms and often higher pricing and yet close to 100% of the time they are booked. We only wish we could book all 4 of our suites 100% of the time but we can't and the reason we can't is that we don't have the marketing reach of the big name hotels -- we are not even in the same stratosphere.

I just referred a repeat guest for what is not an especially busy period (with a good amount of advance) -- Dec 27 to 31 depart (too short a booking for us) and they were already solidly booked. I have 4 gorgeous suites and I still have one more to fill. It's been noted time and time again -- hotels are enjoying record occupancy! Shouldn't travelers to New York therefore have a choice? Not everyone wants to stay in a hotel just like those who prefer hotels don't want to stay in a place like ours. Some want service and don't need the extra space or a kitchen and that's fine with us but with just 4 suites to fill we could never be considered a threat to anyone. Ultimately there are less bed and breakfast styled rooms in New York City than on one floor of one large hotel. Our neighbors love us,  and why wouldn't they? We are owner occupied and preside over the prettiest and most well kept townhouse on the block. Our typical guest profile is mature adult couples or singles from all over the world and many have become loyal to us and wouldn't consider staying anywhere else -- that is because we satisfy their preference not because we are 'better' than hotels. On the contrary we are apples and oranges. 

If the city knew better (sadly they seem to care little about us, or to get to know us) they would be helping us rather than seeking to tear us down for what appears to be short term gain. We have a 97% approval rating on Trip Advisor and have been featured in all major travel publications and yet it is we who are under attack in spite of our having distinguished ourselves at great personal risk (our business was built on credit cards and little or no prior experience) to provide travelers with a choice. Why I ask is the city looking to shut us down? Why has the city suddenly decided after all these years that they don't want us? And to make a larger point, why is the city clamping down on small business in general, for isn't it the small individually owned businesses that gave the city its unique flavor in the first place? Some things are worth being preserved and we are one of them and we will not die without a fight.

And if the city should prevail, what then? What would they have gained at our expense. Certainly not 'affordable housing.' The only person who could now afford this townhouse is a private or wealthy investor. We'd be on the street with the proceeds from the 'forced' sale (after having bought this building in 1978 when few wanted to live in the area) and our guests would no longer have a place to stay. Surely no one gains from a situation like this, least of all the city?

Thank you for reading and please consider signing the petition... and or donate what you can to the cause...


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