short term alternatives for you NYC

Thursday, November 8, 2012

StayNYC Does Its Part in Aftermath of Sandy

Following Superstorm Sandy, we want to share with you the news that the majority of our member B&Bs made it through the storm unscathed. Unfortunately, some of our members were severely affected with power outages and water damage that has caused the New York Department of Buildings to close some properties for a minimum of four weeks.

We are New Yorkers and have been through 9/11 among other things, so we will overcome the aftermath of Sandy and get the businesses affected operational again. 

As good neighbors and members of our communities, the B&Bs that weren’t damaged opened their doors to assist displaced New Yorkers who needed a warm and dry reprieve from Sandy and its effects. We welcomed those guests free of charge, as we’re not allowed to take any paying guests for under a 30-day stay due to the new law. 

While it was fulfilling to provide storm victims with a roof over their heads, many StayNYC members saw irony in the fact that despite an extreme hotel room shortage in the city they couldn’t serve as a short term alternative for visitors unless they provided free stays.

Despite Fall being the busiest time of year for our B&Bs, we were able to accommodate our neighbors free of charges since the 30-day stay limit has caused many vacancies. Our members estimate that 3,850 guest nights will go unused over the last four months of 2012 and this will cost our businesses over $1.1 million. 

We hope that with your support we can be fully operational again, and provide the warm hospitality and personal service that makes us good neighbors and an asset to the tourism industry in the vibrant diverse city that is New York.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

$10 Million Shortfall for New York City’s Hotel Tax Revenue Expected

Imagine what $10 million could mean in terms of public services and programs in New York City. According to a recent Businessweek article, the city’s hotel tax revenue is projected to drop three percent in 2012, equivalent to $10 million.

A state law that went into effect in 2011 making it illegal for  Class A buildings to have paying guests for less than 30 consecutive days in New York City undoubtedly has had a  major effect on this three percent decline from the $363 million hotel room occupancy tax revenues from 2011.

Granted, the small group of bed & breakfast operators that compose StayNYC don’t account for a big chunk of this $10 million difference, but we are happy to pay our fair share as tax compliant small facility operators.  As the unintended targets of this law, our businesses are suffering, and the city’s tax revenues are as well.

As we’ve said before, Fall in New York City is our busiest time of year. Our members estimate that 3,850 guest nights will go unused over the last four months of 2012 and this will cost our businesses over $1.1 million. At a 5.875 percent hotel tax rate, it’s projected that New York City is missing out on almost $65,000 of hotel tax income from our members over the last four months of 2012 alone.
StayNYC members are working with elected officials to receive an exemption to the current law, so that we can continue to provide short term stay alternatives in New York City and help the city bridge the gap in its hotel tax revenue by paying our fair share.

As small business owners, we not only want what is best for our organizations, but we also care deeply about the surrounding boroughs and neighborhoods. We want to be able to contribute to our community by operating at full capacity and paying our fullest share of taxes, as we were prior to this 2011 law that has devastated so many of our family-owned businesses.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

For Squirrels and NYC B&Bs, Fall is the Busiest Time of the Year

The New York City Marathon. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Fall Colors.

Every fall millions of tourists from around the world visit New York City to run through our streets, visit our stores, and enjoy our famous parks contributing millions of dollars to the local economy. These fall events are quintessential New York City. The time between Labor Day and New Year’s is generally the busiest time of year for our StayNYC members, but the bed & breakfast industry has come to a near standstill.

As you all know, a law that makes it illegal for residential Class A buildings to have paying guests for less than 30 consecutive days went into effect in May 2011. As a result, our members estimate that they could lose over $1.1 million this fall because 3850 guest nights will go unused over the last four months of 2012. Without a fix to this law, New York City’s B&Bs will become extinct.

StayNYC continues to make progress in working toward an exemption for a specific class of small facilities operators in New York City and protect the unintended targets of the current law. While we have met with numerous influential lawmakers at both the city and state level on this issue and are making progress towards a resolution, there is still a lot of work to be done to remain viable, legal, and successful part of the New York hospitality industry.

We need your help to continue to share our city’s rich culture with our guests. We need resources to continue our fight to save New York City’s B&B industry.

Let’s not allow a poorly written law to shutter B&Bs. Help us continue our campaign by donating $100, $250, $500 or whatever you can to our cause. Click here to donate.

Every dollar raised is used to protect NYC B&Bs so our city can continue to offer these important short-term stay options for travelers from all over the globe. With your help, fall will remain our busiest season.

Thank you, and don't forget to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest updates on StayNYC.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Travelers Rely on B&Bs

As B&B owners and innkeepers in New York City, our experiences have allowed us a unique view of the travel industry.  Since we are owner operated, we have much more personal contact with our guests, and they rely on us to be their personal concierge. Our success as small business owners is directly related to how well we tend to the needs of our guests, such as costs and services, as well as recommending the best dinner option for a travelling young couple in the East Village.  B&Bs provide a friendly and unique atmosphere that big hotels and hostels cannot recreate.  It is our local knowledge and personal touch that brings folks back to NYC time and time again.

The data back us up as well.  A recent survey by  asked visitors of the site, “What was their favorite Summer destination?” 

And the top destination for B&B travelers for 2012… New York City!  That’s right; the Big Apple is the top destination for those who stay in B&Bs.  Over 67 percent of B&B travelers are planning to return to a destination they have visited before, and 54 percent are again staying in a B&B. 

In fact, the data showed that most travelers say B&Bs “provide more value than hotels (71%) and would choose a B&B over a hotel if both were available for the same nightly rate (84%). “

Most of the time, B&Bs conjure up images of a small New England town or Napa Valley Wine country, but the reality is 23 percent of B&Bs are located in urban areas just like New York City.  StayNYC is dedicated to protecting these B&Bs by working with elected officials to make sure that our registered B&Bs remain exempt from any illegal hotel legislation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why StayNYC B&Bs Are Different from Illegal Hotels

Illegal hotels have created serious concerns throughout our New York City.  Rightfully so, the City and State are cracking down on establishments that put both travelers and tenants at risk.  Unfortunately, this law has made long established, taxpaying B&Bs targets for steep fines and possible closure.  This begs the question, why are StayNYC B&Bs different, and why should our members be exempt from recent illegal hotel legislation?

To start, B&Bs are an established part of the New York City tourist industry and an important contributor to local City culture.  Innkeepers and B&B owners love this City, and whether it is a good local cafe to grab coffee, the best bagel in town, or a neighborhood bar off the beaten path, sharing our knowledge with guests is our passion. That sort of local knowledge and personalization is hard to find at larger hotels, which is why small inns and B&Bs are vital.  For a city that attracts tourists from all walks of life and many different cultures, a diversity of short-term accommodations is necessary to provide everyone with a truly unique New York experience.   Most guests choose our B&B’s not to save money as much as to feel welcome and safe, like they have a friend in New York, and indeed they do. Travellers seek out B&B’s for the experience of living like a local.

StayNYC members are registered as New York City Small Facility Operators and unlike illegal hotels our members collect and pay NYC hotel tax, occupancy tax, City and State sales tax.  Combined, StayNYC member B&Bs drive more than $4 million into local NYC community in 2010. 

Tenants are rightly concerned about their neighbors operating illegal hotels, with random and unfamiliar guests coming and going. We support legislation that keeps tenants safe.  StayNYC members all exist in small buildings that are exclusively used as bed and breakfasts, and have less than 10 rooms. 

Part of the reason StayNYC is such a small association (we have less than 10 members), is that there are strict guidelines for membership.  StayNYC requires proof of a Small Facility Operators certificate, and compliance with the City’s hotel tax and NY State sales tax laws.  Neither of which an “illegal” hotel could provide.

We are eager to work with both City officials and State legislators to carve out an exemption for our long established and taxpaying B&B’s.  President of StayNYC Vinessa Milando recently told the New York Daily News, “I feel once we work with legislators and educate them, they will understand that we are unintended targets,” Milando said. “We feel pretty positive that we can work with the city and that the city wants to keep this type of business operating, as long as it is safe.  We’re tiny business owners who work seven days a week, so obviously the safety of our guests and our reputations are very important to us.”

To help StayNYC keep B&Bs open for business sign our petition, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


StayNYC is excited to launch our blog. 

We will be updating our page with blog posts about bed & breakfasts, New York City travel, and how recent legislation has affected registered B&Bs here in the city. 

The media has taken an interest in our issue with recent articles in both the New York Times and the New York Daily News.  These articles are very helpful in our effort to educate legislators and the public to the current plight of B&Bs in New York City.

Our members successful B&Bs are an important part of what makes New York City so great.  Diversity in short-term stay options are key components to the vibrant and booming tourism industry here in the City. 

That is why we will work hard to educate legislators and the public on why B&Bs need to remain legal and open for business.  Recent legislation on illegal hotels has made our members the unintended targets for steep fines and possible closure.  Illegal hotels are a serious problem, but we strongly believe legitimate taxpaying business such as ours, should not be the collateral damage in the fight against illegal hotels. 

What can you do to help? Please urge your family and friends to sign our petition, and stay tuned to our blog, Facebook and Twitter for updates from the StayNYC team!