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

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

Profiteering hotels and landlords make quick money when Sandy charges $700 a night for a single room in New York

  • Craigslist is full of rooms that are offered at inflated prices
  • With the marathons cancelled, some owners may be looking to make up for their losses
  • Some landlords refuse to join the profit spree by offering rooms and facilities to those in need

Greedy landlords and hotel owners, looking to make a quick buck off the thousands without power or displaced by Hurricane Sandy, took advantage of people’s desperation by charging outrageous prices for housing.

Yesterday morning, Craigslist was full of spots for expensive rooms, with an ad promising people the luxury of a one-bedroom apartment with electricity for a “mere” $700 a night.

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

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

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

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

The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan increased its rates from $100 to $600

The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan increased its rates from $100 to $600

A manager at this hotel insisted to the Post that they weren’t taking advantage of the aftermath of the hurricane.

“We don’t charge them any additional fees,” the unidentified manager said. “Just because of the hurricane, we’ve had high occupancy, and when we have high occupancy, prices go up.”

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

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Midtown hotels that recently claimed they were fully booked were suddenly offering rooms at close to their regular rates.

As of Friday, tourists attempting to book rooms in New York City through the travel site were directed to hotels in New Jersey.

Even with the ability to squeeze every penny out, 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, said owner Richard Nicotra.

But with thousands without power and temperatures plummeting, Nicotra handed over the rooms to storm evaders.

Vulture: Some people were offering rooms for a

Vulture: Some people were offering rooms for a “mere” $700 a night to people displaced by Hurricane Sandy

“These are my neighbors,” Nicotra said abc news. “Will I kick out my neighbors who have lost everything, who have no place to go for someone who travels here to race?”

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

Nicotra called both the club and individual guests to explain the situation, which totals 180 guest cancellations.

“Well, they obviously weren’t happy about it,” he said. “But we asked them to watch what’s going on in Staten Island on TV.”

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

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

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