Who Wins From New York's Ban on Airbnb? The Dirtiest Hotel In America

The Hotel Carter is "undeniably, unequivocally, the worst hotel in New York City" but thanks to anti-Airbnb regulations, it's a "winner."


Lucas Vallecillos- VWPics Visual&Written/Newscom

Unless you want to experience New York City the way it was in the 1970s, there's probably not much of a reason to stay at The Hotel Carter, a 700-room budget hotel in Manhattan's Theater District.

The hotel has been named the dirtiest in America (not once, not twice, but three times!) by travel ratings website Trip Advisor. Reviews of the hotel include guest complaints about dirty sheets, bedbugs, and a lack of toilet paper. "I think it would have been cleaner to sleep on the street," reads one review.

The hotel "is undeniably, unequivocally, the worst hotel in New York City," opined the New York Observer in 2014, with online reviews that read "like the script of a bad horror movie." The elevator doesn't work, and there's been at least nine documented deaths there.

It may not have much else going for it, but the nearly 90-year old hotel happens to be in a prime spot, literally steps from Times Square and some of the most famous live entertainment in the world. Manhattan real estate being what it is, The Hotel Carter was purchased last year for $192 million.

Now that New York City has approved regulations that effectively ban most short-term rentals, the Hotel Carter—despite a terrible reputation that would make anyone think twice about staying there—stands to gain.

The hotel was one of the "winners" in a piece published Monday by National Real Estate Investor, a trade publication, asking which properties in New York City stand to gain the most from the ban on Airbnb and similar services in The Big Apple.

"We zoomed in on non-luxury hotels in Hell's Kitchen and the neighboring Theater District that are in the same price range as average Airbnb rentals of similar size, to see which hotels are likely to benefit," explains Ely Razin, who authored the piece.

The Hotel Carter "could stand to gain from a larger share of customers seeking an inexpensive bed in a prime location—especially if it's new owner is able to move the hotel past its status as the three-time winner of TripAdvisor's dirtiest hotel in America survey," Razin wrote.

The hotel and potential buyers might be winners here, but the losers are anyone who can't find better accommodations in New York City because short-term rentals have been squeezed out of the market.

Under the rules passed in October, anyone listing an apartment or home for rent on a website like Airbnb or Home Away can face fines of up to $7,500 per day. Short term rentals were already illegal in the city, but the new rules ban the advertising of such rentals and are seen by advocates as a necessary enforcement mechanism after the outright ban didn't work.

The regulations potentially violate the First Amendment, but a lawsuit launched by Airbnb challenging the short term rental advertising ban was dropped last week after New York City promised that enforcement actions would be carried out against individual property owners, not the San Francisco-based platform.

The other losers, then, are property owners and renters in New York's horrifically expensive real estate market who have lost a potential source of secondary income.

It's no surprise that hotels win when cities regulate short-term rentals out of existence—that's why hotel associations and unions have pushed for these laws in New York and elsewhere.

They know people will still flock to New York City, of course, to see the lights of Times Square and the stars of Broadway. When those tourists come to town, they'll now have fewer options to choose from—but don't worry, at least the Hotel Carter will still be there.


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  1. Unless you want to experience New York City the way it was in the 1970s, there’s probably not much of a reason to stay at The Hotel Carter, a 700-room budget motel in Manhattan’s Theater District.

    Again, imagining how time has gotten away from me, in the 1970s Manhattan Theater district, your chances of being flashed by a naked guy in a trenchcoat: 100%. Biggest fear now: Being sold a loose cigarette.

    1. Flashed by a naked guy in a trenchcoat: Wow, Crusty sure does get around.

      1. He’s been spotted in Canada as well.

        1. Crusty is the hive mind of all the flashers around the globe. Try to interpret his comments in light of this fact.

    2. I wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Carter, but I would rather visit 1970s NYC than the sanitized version that it is today…

  2. Reviews of the hotel include guest complaints about dirty sheets, a lack of toilet paper and bedbugs.

    Who would complain about a lack of bedbugs? Anyway, you’d think a city that can regulate away property rights could also regulate away dirty bed sheets.

    1. How can you advise people to not let the bedbugs bite if there aren’t any bedbugs?!

      1. I stayed at a hotel once that is reputedly the most haunted hotel on the East Coast. I even stayed in one of the most haunted rooms. I tried to get a refund because I didn’t see or hear any ghosts. Didn’t work. Should have checked for the ghost guarantee before booking.

      2. I always just go into it blind. Sometimes I say it over the phone, without any knowledge of the other person’s infestation level. Or time zone.

        1. That’s because the bedbugs leave fellow Cimexicans alone.

    2. That’s where I was going. Doesn’t NYC have a shitload of health codes that cover every aspect of this? Along with an army of inspectors? Loads of courtrooms that operate day and night?

      The only hotels I’ve stayed at in Manhattan are right around Madison Square Garden. Hotel Pennsylvania and the Ramada. Both were like the sets of a theatrical red-light district themed movie, without the vice.

  3. I wonder if progs would rather stay in that hotel or the Trump tower?

    Sorta like how none of them actually move to Venezuela, their paradise

    1. Hotel Carter is an “authentic” 1970s Manhattan experience. Like Cuba!

      1. Ah, so the progs go there for authentic experiences to write about in their college papers.

    2. A good prog will absolutely not stay at The Trumputin even if it’s free! They’d rather sleep in a dumpster!

      1. And I’d be willing to piss on ’em for real authenticity.

        1. Even if libertarians get upset over politics more than most people, just imagine being a prog and every single facet of your life being about politics? It’s like a religion and sometimes the invisible sky god just don’t listen no matter how loud you whine and cry. We’ve got 4 years of this coming. Maybe 8 if they keep it up.

          1. I personally know people like this. They are miserable, joyless people, who are angry that other people don’t agree with them like they should, so they insulate themselves more and more.

            1. Most of my family is like this.

        2. Don’t forget to charge them whatever admission is to The Fetish Fortress.

  4. Such a shame that a city that is so identified with free market capitalism is so opposed to actual free market capitalism.

    1. I identify it with spectacularly high taxes, tolls, and prices, crowds of rude progs, no parking, and horrible traffic. That free market stuff was over decades ago.

  5. Crusty stayed at Hotel Carter for three days in 1968. That’s why.

    1. As the greatest band of our age would say, it’s like he could check out any time he liked, but he could never leave.

      1. I’ve had a rough day, and i hate the fuckin’ Eagles, man!

        1. Crusty: Do you need a hug?

          1. Don’t let the bed hugs bite.

      2. Nickleback?

        1. Huh. I guess the Eagles were sort of the Nickleback of the ’70s, weren’t they. Except with like 8 more dudes playing guitar.

          1. More banjos.

          2. Back then you needed 8 guys playing the guitar, one on organ, two on drums and others on weird percussion thingies like bongos and cow bells (cow bells, seriously?). Every song had an obligatory 30 minute drum solo and 30 minute guitar solo. So instead of avg 3 minutes for a song, songs were one hour and 3 minutes.

            1. So, The Allman Brothers?

            2. We’re gonna need more cowbell

  6. I remember when one of my friends from South America was going to NYC for the first time. He sent me a list of hotels he was considering staying in. I can’t remember which ones they were. I’m not sure you would even call them a hotel, more like hostels. I warned him to avoid all of them and just pay the high price of a few I suggested. He refused to listen to me and when he arrived at his room, he was horrified, managed to get a refund and paid the bucks to say where I told him to stay in the first place. Never refuse to listen to someone’s advice about their own country.

  7. Maybe Uber and Lyft drivers can start letting people sleep in their cars if the price is right. Get that real authentic NYC experience.

  8. NYC is probably one of the most overhyped cities in America. It lacks the views of San Francisco, the history of Boston and is way more expensive. I like Central Park and the museums, but those are just things that ended up there. Couldn’t imagine paying $300+/night to stay there.

    1. The problem with cities in general, and New York in particular, is that there isn’t anything to do that doesn’t cost money besides go to the park or certain museums.

      1. What about bringing your terrier for some ratting?

    2. Cheap heroin but BYO cigarettes.

    3. For the amount of money it costs to travel to NYC, book a nice hotel, and then try to go to the club, or some good restaurants…….you might as well book a trip to Sicily/Italy enjoy all the places to see that have far more class and charecter, or St. Lucia and stay at Sandals and have unlimited food, go horseback riding, snorkeling and enjoy the other sights around the beach. And soooo go on one of those boat rides off the beach!!!!!! No pressure, no problem!!

      NYC, helping to prove the libertarian anarchists right with each passing law, tax, and regulation.

  9. Come on, it would be an authentic NYC experience if you didn’t stay in a dingy closet that’s heated by radiators, like something out of the 1950s.

    1. wouldn’t*


  10. i fail to see how it’s not a violation of 1A protections to charge an individual with posting an ad. sure, $7500 fine for posting, but couldn’t you sue the city for enforcing the fine?

    1. It’s just a tax, bro?

  11. “Who Wins From New York’s Ban on Airbnb?”

    The SEIU.

  12. Someone call Anthony Melchiorri.

  13. They know people will still flock to New York City, of course, to see the lights of Times Square and the stars of Broadway.

    And that’s the rub, right there. What’s the point of not being a domineering socialist if you don’t face a market penalty for it? Everybody keeps showing up and emptying their pockets anyway, so there’s absolutely no incentive to do otherwise.

    1. NYC will rob you blind. I hate that rat hole and have no desire to give them my hard earned money.

      1. I remember GILMORE saying he lives in NYC and you can easily stay there for 5 cents a day if you aren’t a stupid tourist and know where to actually go for things*.

        *his actual comments included much more realistic sums, but I can’t remember them so I use hyperbole instead

        1. Was that before they shut down airBNB? Like most big cities, unless you know the natives and are getting direct advice from them, it’s a dangerous risk I wouldn’t want to take. You could end up in some very bad places.

          1. It probably was, and I think the specific topic at hand was eating out on a budget. Somebody was bitching about the prices of the restaurants located in places you can actually find them, meaning tourist areas, when apparently you’re supposed to know to go down the third dark alley to the left and use the special password to gain entrance to the place selling $5 pad thai.

            1. If tourists to NYC would just move there they’d realize how great it really is.

              1. If tourists to NYC would just move there

                They do. It’s called Brooklyn.

                1. OMG it’s like she’s filmed my life.

  14. I stayed in an NYC that had an on-site social worker and it had far better reviews than Hotel Carter.

    1. “on-site social worker”


      1. No, it had an office off the lobby that was a city-paid social worker.

        The Atherton Hotel. It got bought, cleaned up and is now Gem Hotel, Chelsea.

        1. But hooker related in some way, I assume.

          1. I assume the hooker staff was on-call.

            1. Is that in-call or out-call? I never quite grasped the difference.

  15. Other topic, but just want to see what everyone thinks. That map they’re showing where almost all of it is red except some blue patches on the outside edges… should they be allow to show that? I mean it could be a hate crime, right? Poor leftists are already triggered enough and Trump won’t stop being mean. He’s going to make Putin head of the CIA, I’m telling you!

  16. The best view I ever had of NYC was in the rearview mirror. I have no use for the place.

    1. I’d like to see the Statue of Liberty. Maybe a few other landmarks. Not much else interest me.

      1. You can ingress and egress from New Jersey (the part of NJ that’s only marginally better than NYC).

      2. I was ruined on it when I had to go get my car, which was illegally parked between the World Trade Center towers. They had a boot on it, and I had to sit by it all day waiting for the cop to come by to take the boot off. All I could get my hands on to drink was crab juice from a damn cart some immigrant was pushing by. The whole day was awful.

        That’s how I remember it, anyway.

        1. It is the most car unfriendly place in the U.S. I live an hour away and never go into the city – way too much hassle for zero reward.

          1. It is the most car unfriendly place in the U.S.

            I see someone has never been to Boston.

            1. Boston’s fine as long as you don’t care if you actually ever get to where you intended to go.

              1. You can get there, just don’t expect there to be any signs and note that street names and directions change every block or so-I am originally from there…

            2. The drivers aren’t too friendly to pedestrians either. Only city I’ve ever been in where I was hit by a car, twice!

              1. That’s what you get for not learning the first time.

        2. On the bright side your kid got to meet Alfred E. Neuman.

          1. Thank god somebody caught it.

            1. I figured it was too obvious to say anything.

    2. Oh come on, just like any number of 3rd world hellholes it’s fun to visit or vacation in – you just don’t want to live there.

      1. I also don’t want to spend a week’s wage to sleep there.

      2. As far as American 3rd world hellholes go, I’ll take New Orleans over NYC. I can stay with family and the people are nicer.

        1. Why the hell would you want nice people?

          The best part of NYC is that people leave you the fuck alone.

          1. It’s very strange to go there after growing up in a culturally southern area, where people just talk to you when you saddle up next to them at a bar. I found the lack of polite conversation among strangers to be disquieting, and when you try to strike up a conversation, they’re rude as hell to you.

            It isn’t that they’re wrong, just that it’s very different from what I’m used to. Which makes it objectively wrong.

            I do really love New Orleans.

            1. PROTIP: Never visit northern New England. You don’t get “Hello” until one’s consistently seen your face for at least 30 years.

              I remember the first time I visited my friend in Seattle. He had to work in the morning, so I spent sometime walking around the University district. I was walking on one side of the street when some dude driving down the road honked at me. I was confused as to what I was doing wrong and prepared myself for a fight. He just drove away. Later I told my friend about this and he said “Oh, he was just saying ‘hi’.”

              I was so enraged that I saw red.

              1. I’m told there’s nothing to recommend the area to tourists except for some fucking combination barn/bridge things in Vermont, so I guess I don’t need to visit.

                1. You just keep believing that.

                  Having lived here my whole life, it always seems funny that tourists exist. I guess it’s pretty. I like it here. And the leaves turn colors in the fall.

                  1. And the leaves turn colors in the fall.

                    And you don’t have to say ‘hello’ to them. Win-win.

              2. I was so enraged that I saw red.

                Jeez. Don’t come to KY. You’ll get “Hey there, young fella” all day and stroke out.

                1. Yep. Old men who just sat in the mall all day used to make duck calls at me and pull suckers/quarters out from behind my ears when I was real little, and I didn’t know them from Adam*.

                  *no pedo – I mean these guys were really old, and they did it to kids young enough to still have their parents walking with them

                2. Lets see “KY” reference, “Hey there, young fella”, and “stroke out”.

                  The jokes write themselves…..

                3. GA is even worse/better.

                  A college friend from NJ just about died when he moved to Atlanta.

              3. I’m with you. I hate that shit. Where I’m from only crazy people do that.

            2. I grew up among cold upper midwesterners, but I can appreciate southern friendliness after living in Missouri and visiting my brother in New Orleans. They’re sort of the extroverted version of midwesterners.

            3. I think it’s a mid-Atlantic thing. Once you get towards the southern end of the MA, like Maryland, it can go either way. Once you’re in southern Virginia, it seems to be mostly friendly to strangers all the way down.

            4. I like something in the middle, myself. I enjoy people who are willing to make friendly conversation with strangers in public. As long as they don’t mind and catch on when I make it clear in nonverbal ways that I’m not interested in talking to them just then.

            5. Fun fact – I moved to NYC (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) in 2005 after a little more than a decade as a Bourbon St. bartender. I was chock full of Southron charm and amused my new neighbors by glad-handing and greeting all of them I saw in the building. Six years later we had kids and fled Brooklyn for Rockaway Beach. Pay the same rent but now have 3 times the square footage, a yard, a garage, and we are right on the beach. Some aspects of COL I found surprising, food is really inexpensive in NYC; competition keeps the prices down. Also, there are dozens of weed delivery services that bring it right to your house in 30 minutes or less.

          2. must be nice

          3. people leave you the fuck alone

            Prolly the best part of living here.

  17. Times square used to have some character. I came here in the 1980’s and the city was still sufficiently dangerous and wonderful at the same time. Now most stores can be found in any mall ( some flagship stores on 5th ave for example are pretty unique to be fair but you don’t want to buy anything there unless you are a tourist with overvalued currency) and everything is 5 times more crowded.
    * full disclosure: If I had a front lawn I’d be yelling at everyone to get off it.
    Not moving for another 10 years at least cause I’m still having fun nonetheless and my career is here.

  18. This sounds nicer than some of the hotels I worked at in downtown Buffalo.

    1. What other hotels have you worked?

  19. The Hotel Carter is regulated, therefore it must be safe. Prog logic.

  20. A friend was telling me he took his GF to New York on the train from Philly, stayed overnight at a nice hotel, had dinner and bought two tickets to “Hamilton” – trip cost over $3000! (I guess he got laid too,but he already lives with her.) I told him he could get Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton from Amazon for about $15 and not have to listen to crappy rap music.

  21. Biggest cockroach I have ever seen was at the Edison Hotel in NYC.

    That’s also the hotel where George Costanza got tied up and robbed.

  22. NYC RoADZ! are the greatest. A testament to privatizing the RoADZ! At least they’ll give a shit about improving traffic instead of rebuilding that stupid overpass for, from what I hear, forever.

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