PJ Media: Fifteen Percent Of NYC Hotel Rooms Occupied By Illegals in Major Blow To Local Tourism

PJ Media: Fifteen Percent Of NYC Hotel Rooms Occupied By Illegals in Major Blow To Local Tourism


June 8, 2024, 9:07 AM

Fifteen percent of hotel rooms in New York City are now occupied by illegal migrants, thanks to Mayor Eric Adams’ sanctuary city policies.

The cost of an average hotel room in New York has surged to $301 a night, as over 16,000 out of 121,300 units remain occupied by these rent-free tenants.

This has led to a massive shortage of rooms for tourists, hurting the industry which provides a key source of revenue for the Big Apple.

With 135 hotels in New York out of 680 sheltering illegals, there are worries that more expensive hotel rooms will reduce much-needed tourism.

Since July 2022, NYC has taken in more than 200,000 illegal migrants, as the Biden administration allowed millions of invaders to cross the U.S. border with Mexico.

New York City officials were forced to scramble to find places to house the new arrivals, many with criminal backgrounds.

Adams turned to local hotel operators still struggling from the pandemic due to the drop in tourism, who were eager at the time to take the illegals in.

At least 6,000 hotel rooms have closed permanently since the lockdowns, the Hotel Association of New York City told the NY Post.

The hotel operators in turn, received a steady stream of taxpayers dollars to fill their rooms, with an average of $156 per room from the City each day.

The NY Post reported in September 2023, that the Adams administration extended its contracts with the NYC Hotel Association for a three-year deal of $1.3 billion, dwarfing the original $275 million agreement, in order to continue paying rental fees to the various operators running the shelter hotels.

The City’s contract with the hotel association runs until Aug. 31 and is likely to be renewed for the duration of the crisis.

However, some of the hotels-turned-shelters have turned into hotbeds of crime, lewd behavior, and public drug use.

The famous Roosevelt Hotel on East 45th Street, next to Grand Central Station, has seen various violent incidents since it was turned into a shelter.

The luxury hotel reopened as a home for illegals in May 2023, after its Pakistani owners signed a contract with the city to house thousands of illegals in its 1,025 rooms.

Meanwhile, rising hotel room costs at the height of the NYC tourist season have at last become a concern for the hospitality sector.

The hotel association’s CEO, Vijay Dandapani, told the NY Post, “The higher cost of hotel rooms is partly due to compression but also in part due to inflation which is a deterrent for meeting planners looking to book New York City as a destination.”

Since the majority of the hotel suites being occupied range from affordable to mid-tier level rooms, middle-class tourists visiting town with their families for the weekend, face the brunt of the price hikes.

“The nearly 18% occupancy taxes that are added to the room rate make the City even more uncompetitive, leading them to alternate destinations,” said Dandapani, adding that there was still no shortage of hotel rooms, as occupancy rates remain close to 2019 levels for the same period.

Last month, he told the NY Times that all hotels which plan on reopening their doors to tourists after sheltering illegals will have to undertake expensive renovations and that the cost of repairs have led some operators to consider permanently shutting down after the contracts with NYC expire.

The mayor’s office denied that the illegal migrant crisis negatively affected tourism and that hotel prices mainly surged due to inflation, a rise in demand, and higher labor costs.

“When the Adams administration came into office, tourism was at the fourth-lowest level in over 20 years. But today, New York City is back — and last year, we had the fourth highest tourism in history, we are on track for roughly 64 million visitors this year, and we expect a full recovery with over 68 million visitors in 2025,” a mayoral spokesperson told the NY Post.

“The return of tourists to New York City is reflected at hotels as well, where demand is up. New York City is safer, cleaner, and, as the numbers show, continues to be one of the most popular destinations in the United States.”