NYC hotel rates reach record highs as city fills rooms with illegal immigrants

The average price for a hotel room in the Big Apple is now over $300 per night.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

New York City hotel prices have reached an all-time high due in large part to the unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants arriving from the southern border. The city turned to hotels to house the immigrants, many of which are paid to house the immigrants. 

As of late 2023, the average price for a one-night stay at a hotel in the Big Apple was over $300, an increase of nearly 10 percent over the previous year. While that has dipped slightly over the first few months of 2024, the summer tourism season is expected to bring with it another jump in prices.  

City policies, such as the “Sanctuary Hotel Program,” as reported on by the New York Times, also have contributed to the increase by shortening the supply of open rooms. When it was started in 2022, city officials said that the hotels were paid between $139 and $185 a room each night, whether or not the room is occupied. 

As The Times reports, inflation also played a role in the rising costs, even though the rate of inflation has fallen since 2022. 

Despite the high cost of accommodation, the city is anticipating around 70 million visitors this year. Hotel Association of New York City CEO Vijay Dandapani said he believes things will only get better with time.  

"At some point this migrant crisis is going to peter out," he said, "and ... you're going to have a lowering of rates and it will become more affordable."  

According to commercial real estate data provider CoStar, over 140 hotels have been temporarily or permanently transformed into shelters for illegal immigrants, bringing with them 16,000 rooms that are no longer available for tourists.  

The Jamaica area near JFK Airport has been hardest hit, with nearly 50 percent of accommodations now occupied by illegal immigrants. Manhattan, the borough with the most hotels, has managed to maintain the vast majority of its hotels, though Uptown, Midtown, and Times Square have seen the highest percentage of properties be turned into shelters, at around seven percent.  

A number of former luxury hotels in the Times Square area have in recent months achieved a negative reputation due to the illegal immigrants' behavior, which has sometimes turned criminal.   

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