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Hurricane Sandy: Hotels and landlords make a quick buck charging $700 a night for a single room in New York


Profitable hotels and landlords are making quick money with Sandy charging $700 a night for a single room in New York

  • Craigslist clogged with rooms for increased prices
  • With the marathons cancelled, some owners are trying to make up for their losses
  • Some landlords refuse to participate in the pursuit of profit by offering rooms and facilities to those in need

Greedy landlords and hotel owners looking to make a quick buck with thousands without power or displaced by Hurricane Sandy took advantage of people’s desperation by charging exorbitant prices for lodging.

As of yesterday morning, Craigslist has been full of posts for expensive rooms, with one ad promising people the luxury of a one-bedroom apartment with electricity for “just” $700 a night.

“Stay in comfort and style until the power comes back on,” the Post reported.

It wasn’t just Craigslist vultures. The Red Carpet Inn in Bushwick normally charges $99 for a Friday, but charged $500 via hotels.com, according to the New York PostThe New York Palace Hotel in Midtown had also increased its rates from $100 per night to $600.

Marathon weekend is one of the busiest times of the year Hilton Garden Inn

Marathon weekend is one of the busiest times of the year Hilton Garden Inn

The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan raised its prices from $100 to $600

The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan raised its prices from $100 to $600

A manager of that hotel urged the Post not to take advantage of the aftermath of the hurricane.

“We don’t charge them extra,” said the unidentified manager. “It’s just because of the hurricane that we had a high occupancy rate, and when we have a high occupancy rate, the rates go up.”

When power was restored to lower Manhattan and the New York City Marathon was canceled, prices began to plummet.

Hotels in Midtown that recently claimed to be fully booked suddenly offered rooms at their regular rates.

As late as Friday, tourists trying to book a room in New York City through a travel website were redirected to hotels in New Jersey.

Even with the ability to squeeze out every last cent, there were still people trying to do the right thing.

A Staten Island hotel owner refused to evict storm victims so he could book marathon runners with reservations.

The New York City Marathon is one of the busiest weekends of the year for the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield, owner Richard Nicotra said.

But with thousands without power and with temperatures dropping, Nicotra surrendered the rooms to storm surges.

Vultures: Some people advertised rooms for as little as $700 a night for people displaced by Hurricane Sandy

Vultures: Some people advertised rooms for as little as $700 a night for people displaced by Hurricane Sandy

“These are my neighbours,” Nicotra . said ABC news† “Am I going to kick out my neighbors who have lost everything, who have no place to go for someone who travels here to run a race?”

He even hosted a local resident’s wedding at the hotel. Contracts with the NYC Road Runners Club – the marathon’s official sponsor – are the lifeblood of Nicotra’s business, but his bosses still supported him in his decision.

Nicotra called both the club and individual guests to explain the situation, which amounted to a total of 180 guest cancellations.

“Well, they weren’t happy about that, of course,” he said. “But we’ve asked them to watch TV, see what’s happening on Staten Island.”

Although he couldn’t offer them rooms, Nicotra promised a free cot, free meals and a free shuttle to the starting line as an alternative.

“This was bigger than all of us,” Nicotra said. “But we said to them, ‘Come and we’ll take care of you.’

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