Michael Bloomberg

NYC Council Supporting Bloomberg's Push for Legal Hostels


Credit: Mubeen Arawker/wikimedia

Interns and budget-conscious travelers have a surprising ally in the effort by the New York City Council to pass legislation that would legalize residential hostels: three-time Reason TV Nanny of the Month winner Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Luckily, the mayor who infamously supported a ban on sodas over 16 ounces doesn't appear to take issue with people living in small, condensed spaces. Bloomberg spearheaded the effort in his final State of the City address.

Even though we've become the number one tourism destination in the country we still have unfinished business. Right now, we're missing out on an important piece of the market: the young people who have an itch to get out and see the world on modest budgets. Hotels in our city can be out of their price range.

So working with Speaker Quinn and the City Council, we'll pass legislation to make New York a more youth-friendly tourism destination by legalizing the for-profit youth hostels that are so common in much of Europe. Our goal is to attract 175,000 more young tourists to our city each year which will create more than 1,000 new jobs for New Yorkers.

Most hostels were effectively put out of business by a 2010 New York law which outlawed renting residential apartments for stays of less than 30 days. The law came with a cost to the city— an estimated $150 million and about 200,000 tourists per year according to studies, which is minor compared to New York's 52 million visitors in 2012, but advocates for the hostel industry argue that there is unseen damage due to the law.

[Jerry] Kremer and other advocates of the industry argue that the city is losing out on a generation of young, budget- and style-conscious tourists who increasingly steer clear of Manhattan and the outer boroughs in favor not only of European and Asian capitals, but also of Philadelphia, San Francisco and Miami.

"The city took a real blow," Mr. Kremer said. "Places like Philly and Washington saw a dramatic increase in young travelers and hostel occupancy rates. They siphoned it away from New York and were indirect beneficiaries of that 2010 legislation. And the economic impact was devastating."

The economic impact wasn't supposed to be felt, according to justification from the 2010 bill:

There is more than adequate supply of legitimate hotels with accommodations in all price ranges. Should the growth of tourism result in increased demand for hotel rooms in the future, commercially zoned areas of the city allow widespread opportunities for new legitimate hotels.

The new law would establish an independent office to license hostels, which advocates hope will spark a Generation Y renaissance in the city. New York's Sydell Group, an owner, developer, and manager of hostels, is planning to open a hostel in Brooklyn after success with its pilot hostel in Miami Beach. Sydell Group plans to open up to 10 hostel across the country.

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  1. I hear the directors of genetic control have been buying all the
    Properties that have recently been sold, taking risks oh so bold.
    Its said now that people will be shorter in height,
    They can fit twice as many in the same building site.
    They say its alright.

    1. With land in your hand, you’ll be happy on earth
      then invest in the Church for your heaven.

      1. It took me a second – “Get ’em Out By Friday” – way to go old school Genesis!

        PS 666 is no longer alone.
        He’s getting out
        the marrow in your backbone.
        And the seven trumpets blowing
        sweet rock and roll.
        Gonna blow right down
        inside your soul…

        1. There’s Winston Churchill dressed in drag,
          he used to be a British flag, plastic bag, what a drag.

          I keeps it real like that.

  2. Are these hostels still subject to NYC’s outrageous 16%+ room tax?

    I think I’ll continue to use airbnb when visiting the city. I can get an entire apartment for less than the cost of even the cheapest hotel room, sometimes substantially less.

    1. Why do you think they want to make them legal? hahahaha

    2. I think I’ll continue to use airbnb when visiting the city. I can get an entire apartment for less than the cost of even the cheapest hotel room, sometimes substantially less.

      Thanks for the tip. I just saw this place, and I’m sure that it will be used frequently by those in the mlg household.

  3. There is more than adequate supply of legitimate hotels with accommodations in all price ranges.


    1. They didn’t say those hotels were in New York city. People should avoid that pustule at every turn.

  4. Fuck New York. Fuck California. Fuck Washington D.C. Fuck New Jersey. Fuck (the recent influx of people to) Colorado. And fuck the government, federal, state and local.

    That is all.

    1. Until New York stops, with extreme prejudice, Stop and Frisk, and Bloomberg is on trial for his violations against human rights, I will not go there. Unless there’s a large sum of money involved that I can take out of the state.

  5. I’ll be happy to rent out part of my apt to some hot teenage Euro girls. Where do I sign up?

  6. Will the hostels have soda machines?

    1. You’ll be forced to provide a blood sample first, to prove that you are not diabetic, before the machine will deign to dispense you sugarwater.

  7. So they outlaw renting rooms and then make it legal for the politically-connected to buy licenses to rent rooms and we’re supposed to think this is a good thing? How is this any different from any other rent-seeking business regulation?

    1. It was the state that outlawed renting rooms, not the city. I don’t know how the city then escapes it, maybe there was a loophole in the state law allowing it if the city licenses it. Would you rather the city not take advantage of it? Of course it’s a good thing.

      Would you rather outlaw marriage than license it?

  8. What, no mention of Mayor Nanny’s war on airbnb being part of the problem here?

    Of course Mayor Nanny supports this sort of thing. See, there are going to be taxes and a licensing board. airbnb was outside of his sweaty, grasping paws, and we can’t have that.

  9. Oh, hostels. I read that wrong.

  10. For profit? The shame. I hope they’re licensed host. You can’t amateurs offering a coach to sleep on.

  11. You know who else encouraged young Europeans to live in cramped conditions on a temporary basis?

    1. Endemol?

  12. It must be OK if Europe does it.

    1. This. It fits the progressive narrative like a glove. Why do they pine for Europe so?

    2. It’s not just Europe. It’s every goddamned country in the world except the United States.

      Personally, I stay at hostels when I travel because they’re cheap, and that allows me to travel longer. Instead of wasting my money on $100 per night hotel rooms, I can pay $20 per night at a hostel and spend my money on other things. That’s over $500 per week that can be spent on other things – whether souvenirs or experiences. I’ve seen Europeans in Australia staying at a $20 per night hostel and spending $300 for a day’s worth of skydiving – many of these visitors aren’t cheap, they just don’t want to waste money on unimportant stuff – and if you try to scam them they will just go elsewhere.

      But the economic damages of banning hostels are much greater than their calculations would suggest, because hostels allow young people to see the world and decide for themselves which parts they like best, and by consequence which places and which people they will show a preference for in the future. By keeping New York City out of this competition for three years, they have lost three years of public relations with well-connected, well-educated people who will likely be influential in the future. This is a case of shooting oneself in the foot.

      1. The last time I travelled, it was the hotel that was the highlight of the trip, and the time spent in the city I was visiting was a disappointment. When I’m on vacation, I like to stay at places nicer than my apartment. I can get hostel conditions at home, thany you very much.

        I also support whole-heartedly anything that keeps people out of New York City.

  13. The new law would establish an independent office to license hostels

    Of *course* it would. Where did you think the “1,000 new jobs for New Yorkers” would come from?

  14. Huh? Why the fuck would one need government approval to run a hostel?

    1. It’s Nanny Bloomberg, he wants to require government approval for everything.

  15. Bloomberg, broken clock … you know the rest.

  16. Kids. You get all fired up to send them to the salt mines, and then they do this.


  17. Meanwhile, they are banning AirBnb.


  18. I think, Mayor Bloomberg declares to legalize for-profit youth hostels this year. It’s a great news for us. There are so many areas are covered by rent houses, hostels and PGs. However, there are so many locations are available to our state where the low-budget hotels are restricted.

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