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.”