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Move to bring hostels back to NYC

10 March 2015
10 Mar 2015 -

The New York City Council is introducing a bill Monday that would make European-style youth hostels legal in the city.130903145122-seven-swank-hostels-01-horizontal-gallery

Five years ago, a law that was aimed at curbing illegal hotels inadvertently put up restrictions on hostels, forcing many of them out of business.

A handful of hostels remain, but Feargal Mooney, CEO of the international booking website Hostelworld.com, said the city is missing out on “something in the region of $280 million worth of business.” City Councilman Mark Weprin said he hopes the bill provides young tourists with an affordable lodging option.

“New York City is already one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world with over 54 million visitors, but a lot of young people find it impossible to stay here because it’s so darn expensive,” Weprin told 1010 WINS. “This is an opportunity for young people who don’t care so much about where they stay, but care more about visiting New York City.”

Weprin said standard hotels won’t have to worry about competing with hostels. “People who stay in standard hotels are not the same market we’re talking about here,” Weprin said. “We’re talking about, usually, young people who are coming, want to see New York City, and they just want a nice place to stay that isn’t expensive.”

The hostels would be set up in commercial districts where hotels are currently allowed, “so we’re not taking away any housing under this bill,” Weprin said. The hostels could have up to eight beds in a room, shared bathrooms and an eating area for all guests.

For those who may be a little weary of hostels thanks to the “Hostel” horror film series, Weprin promises the city’s hostels will be supervised and safe. “There are some good movies and some bad movies about youth hostels, but these will be run safely with supervision in a regulated manner so we will make sure that they are a safe place to stay for our young people,” Weprin said.

Source: CBSNewYork