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(Slate)   Why do hotel rooms cost so much more than houses or apartments?   (slate.com) divider line 70
    More: Obvious, TPM Media, Matthew Yglesias, commercial real estate, tax deductions, excise taxes, apartments, central business district  
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10374 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2012 at 10:21 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-27 11:38:41 AM  
Ric Romero Approved™
 
2012-11-27 11:58:02 AM  
www.slate.com

For all that money, you'd think that the hotel would at least spring for a TV more modern than a circa 80's cathode tube set.

(or maybe the author was lazy and just picked the first stock photo he could find)
 
2012-11-27 12:27:37 PM  

Mad_Radhu: This is what always makes me laugh when I read a novel and there is some down on your luck person living in a hotel room. Maybe if the character found themselves an apartment, they'd actually have some money to buy something besides ramen noodles to eat.


No credit check, no questions, cash-only, junkies/dealers/hookers tolerated, manager might take a blow job or stolen electronics in lieu of a week's rent, etc, all appealing to someone destitute with trashed credit. Good luck finding an apartment that is any better that doesn't demand sterling credit.

You can always find a month-to-month room in a few days on Craigslist if you've got your shiat together, but this route isn't for people who have their shiat together.
 
2012-11-27 12:53:48 PM  

IronMyno: santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?

Where do you live April thru may then? Do you have to find a new place every time?


Yup. Seasonal living at it's finest.
I moved here from Texas to start a business. Now I'm saving up to buy a more perm place. Until then.. seasonal.
 
2012-11-27 01:11:30 PM  
I do not really travel for business, but when I'm traveling for leisure, I stay at the cheapest (or 2nd cheapest) place I can find, if it is just a place to sleep for the night. And don't judge a room by its cover (or name).

\Stayed at a Red Roof Inn for under $40 a night in Hardeeville, SC on a trip from PA to FL...I was amazed..the room was clean, the property was quiet, and even had a decent continental breakfast selection. (I love how people always complain about the free breakfasts...like do you really eat bacon and eggs and pancakes every day for breakfast? I'm sure the bowl of Raisin Bran and a bagel aren't going to kill you). Not really sure how a hotel can make a living with prices that low and a half dozen other motels all around you.

\Not really a nice town to stay in though if staying for more than a night.
\There were actually hotels that were even cheaper at this exit
 
2012-11-27 01:21:21 PM  

justanotherfarkinfarker: csb
I remember one time I stayed in a shiatty $50 motel because it was the only joint around. Classy place with the tube tv locked down and sheets likely washed during the 80's. Normally I'd just sleep in my truck in a situation like that, but I was traveling with a girl I was goin out with at the time and she wanted none of that. Was woken up at around 3am by a woman in the next room screaming fu*k that ass nigg*r, f*ck that ass nigg*r. and something about balls deep. It may have been payback for earlier yelling from my room. Because what else are you going to do in a shiatty room other than drugs and farking.


you magnificent bastard.
 
2012-11-27 01:27:48 PM  
Reasons why hotels are more expensive than apartments:
1. Daily maid service. $7-10/day
2. Furnished - $5-10k of furniture, lasting ~5 years. $3-6/day
3. Supplies - Linens&Towels(frequently stolen), tiny soap&shampoo bottles - $2/day
4. Taxes - 15% of room cost.
5. Low occupancy. Apartments tend towards 90% occupancy. Hotels are often lucky to bust 50% outside of their rush period. Whether that's conventions, tourist season, national disaster, hunting, skiing, etc...
6. 24 hour service for various things.

You can find apartments/condos with many of the above services, but you'll often find they're on the expensive end. In some areas if you're going to stay in a hotel for over a month you can get a serious cut on the cost, in some cases the hotel can get back some of that tax money, for example. Also, a monthly is generally happy with weekly maid&linen service, saving money there.
 
2012-11-27 01:38:58 PM  

santadog: IronMyno: santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?

Where do you live April thru may then? Do you have to find a new place every time?

Yup. Seasonal living at it's finest.
I moved here from Texas to start a business. Now I'm saving up to buy a more perm place. Until then.. seasonal.


I'm in St.paul/Mpls. I always wanted to live on a large boat on the Mississippi from late Spring to late fall. but finding a place to winter in town for a few months is just shy of impossible.
 
2012-11-27 03:06:48 PM  

IronMyno: santadog: IronMyno: santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?

Where do you live April thru may then? Do you have to find a new place every time?

Yup. Seasonal living at it's finest.
I moved here from Texas to start a business. Now I'm saving up to buy a more perm place. Until then.. seasonal.

I'm in St.paul/Mpls. I always wanted to live on a large boat on the Mississippi from late Spring to late fall. but finding a place to winter in town for a few months is just shy of impossible.


Yeah, I'm in tourist town. Estes Park, Colorado. You can rent a room at most of the hotels here in the winter for $450 a month including all utils. Any tourist town will give you great rates in the off season.
 
2012-11-27 04:35:59 PM  

santadog: IronMyno: santadog: IronMyno: santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?

Where do you live April thru may then? Do you have to find a new place every time?

Yup. Seasonal living at it's finest.
I moved here from Texas to start a business. Now I'm saving up to buy a more perm place. Until then.. seasonal.

I'm in St.paul/Mpls. I always wanted to live on a large boat on the Mississippi from late Spring to late fall. but finding a place to winter in town for a few months is just shy of impossible.

Yeah, I'm in tourist town. Estes Park, Colorado. You can rent a room at most of the hotels here in the winter for $450 a month including all utils. Any tourist town will give you great rates in the off season.


I have a 5 1/2 year old I dunno if i could figure out how to make that work. No boats till he's able to swim at least. Falling in the MISS is not good anytime of the year. I'll look into it casually. you've re-ignited my dream!
 
2012-11-27 04:58:59 PM  

thornhill: mechgreg: I think if it had daily maid/laundry service apartment costs would be comparable. There is also the wear and tear factor, people won't treat a hotel room the same way they treat there own home. It is the same reason renting a car for the weekend would be higher than a monthly car payment.

Maids are paid minimum wage; that's probably the least of their labor expenses.

As for laundry, even high end hotels (e.g. the W) now request that you do not ask for new towels during your stay so to conserve energy.

As for wear and tear, I think most hotels defer as much maintenance as long as possible so they can renovate all of the rooms at once, making the maintenance more cost effective.


Actually housekeeping is one of the major expenses of any hotel. As for minimum wage, the cheaper hotels may start their housekeeping staff out at that but most of the better quality hotels pay much more. Housekeeping is a very labor intensive job and very few would do it for long only getting paid minimum wage.

As for your laundry comment, most hotels place that sign about conserving water in the rooms to appease the environmentalists, but in actuality the housekeepers are told to replace all towels daily unless the customer specifically requests they not be changed out.

Having worked maintenance in hotels I can tell you that very little is put off or differed for long, you would be surprised how much people can break in one nights stay.
 
2012-11-27 05:30:31 PM  

ReapTheChaos: thornhill: mechgreg: I think if it had daily maid/laundry service apartment costs would be comparable. There is also the wear and tear factor, people won't treat a hotel room the same way they treat there own home. It is the same reason renting a car for the weekend would be higher than a monthly car payment.

Maids are paid minimum wage; that's probably the least of their labor expenses.

As for laundry, even high end hotels (e.g. the W) now request that you do not ask for new towels during your stay so to conserve energy.

As for wear and tear, I think most hotels defer as much maintenance as long as possible so they can renovate all of the rooms at once, making the maintenance more cost effective.

Actually housekeeping is one of the major expenses of any hotel. As for minimum wage, the cheaper hotels may start their housekeeping staff out at that but most of the better quality hotels pay much more. Housekeeping is a very labor intensive job and very few would do it for long only getting paid minimum wage.

As for your laundry comment, most hotels place that sign about conserving water in the rooms to appease the environmentalists, but in actuality the housekeepers are told to replace all towels daily unless the customer specifically requests they not be changed out.

Having worked maintenance in hotels I can tell you that very little is put off or differed for long, you would be surprised how much people can break in one nights stay.



I would imagine that the room cleaning cost in an average hotel comes out to about $15-$20 per room, assuming it wasn't trashed. With airbnb we often end up paying a $30 cleaning fee, but that is for a roving freelance housekeeper not operating on the economy of scale a hotel would have.
 
2012-11-27 05:49:38 PM  

Firethorn: Reasons why hotels are more expensive than apartments:
1. Daily maid service. $7-10/day
2. Furnished - $5-10k of furniture, lasting ~5 years. $3-6/day
3. Supplies - Linens&Towels(frequently stolen), tiny soap&shampoo bottles - $2/day
4. Taxes - 15% of room cost.
5. Low occupancy. Apartments tend towards 90% occupancy. Hotels are often lucky to bust 50% outside of their rush period. Whether that's conventions, tourist season, national disaster, hunting, skiing, etc...
6. 24 hour service for various things.

You can find apartments/condos with many of the above services, but you'll often find they're on the expensive end. In some areas if you're going to stay in a hotel for over a month you can get a serious cut on the cost, in some cases the hotel can get back some of that tax money, for example. Also, a monthly is generally happy with weekly maid&linen service, saving money there.


Yeah, the article tried to sound all analytical they are...
weknowmemes.com
 
kth
2012-11-27 06:58:35 PM  

santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?


I thought of you as I drove by the scooter shop all week last week. The husband and I bailed on both families and went to our condo, which is in the neighborhood across the street.
 
2012-11-27 08:12:13 PM  

LarryDan43: I managed a Residence Inn about 15 years ago. At that time it cost us $7.00 to clean a one bedroom or studio suite and $15 for a 2 bedroom suite. When it got late I'd sell one night stays to walk ins as low as $29.

If you walk in to a hotel at night ask if they are full, ask for best available rate and then ask if they can go any lower since its getting late. They will.


yes but don't ask the people in reservations to do that, they can't

//works in a reservation call center
 
2012-11-27 08:26:55 PM  
You can stay in any number of on-strip Las Vegas resorts for $25-$35 a night mid-week. It's also pretty easy to pay $80-$100 a night for the same room on a weekend or during a major trade show like CES. Of course, you can also step it up and pay $300-1500 a night at one of the upscale places. Since the strip is only about 4 miles long and is jammed with 24/7 trains, buses, cabs, and car-rental desks, the precise location of your suitcase is not that important.
 
2012-11-27 10:05:56 PM  

bearcats1983: I've worked in corporate meeting/special event planning for four years now. Hotel prices (depeding on location) will shock the hell out of you. I'm not just talking rooms here; EVERYTHING is farking expensive in some cities.

We've had meetings where an apple would cost $5++ (plus tax/gratuity) or a gallon of coffee is $130++. I used to be shocked by the pricing, now I have to see $50 for coffee as "cheap".

Why is it so expensive? Because it can be and they know we'll pay whatever they ask (mostly).
Unfortunately, it's the cost of business unless you want all of your meetings at the Motel 6 in Omaha.


I worked as a vendor to pretty much every major chain for over seven years (providing the public space computers/printers aka business center, in some cases the wifi) and we charged the hell out of people if the hotel would allow it. On average $6.95/15 minutes for PC use, and $.50/pg for black and white printouts. $1.50 for color.

Surprisingly, those prices weren't as marked up as they'd seem. We had to provide 24/7 access and service, we had to have repair/replacement parts and a tech out there within 24 hours of a hardware problem, we had software licensing costs (way more than you'd expect), in states with sales tax we had to pay that out of the listed price, we had to pay the hotel a revenue share for being at their property, we had to pay for toner cartridges, we had our own internal development team, we had to pay for stolen mice, keyboards, etc. (People would cut the cord and steal the mouse, without a cable, more often than I ever expected.) With the WiFi, the equipment was a lot more expensive than a Linksys router you'd use at home to cover a hotel's lobby and integrate it with their property management system.

Nothing a hotel does is cheap. Well, not if they do it right. Some hotels just buy two Dells and throw them in the lobby with no security and hope that nobody installs a keylogger. That's not the right way to do it. Doing something the right way in a hotel costs more because the entire focus is to avoid anything that might upset a customer. Bad comment cards can not be allowed, and you have to keep the REVPAR up. Charging the hell out of people and refunding them if they complain makes that work.
 
2012-11-27 10:20:57 PM  
The hotel biz is extremely cutthroat. I was talking with a hotel manager and asked her,"Why do they build hotels so big in towns so small that half the town could live there?" It is all about brand recognition. If that is the brand that dominates the local hotel landscape, they'll more than likely stay at that brand elsewhere.
 
2012-11-28 08:25:05 AM  
On a related note, why do restaurants cost more than grocery stores?
 
2012-11-28 09:55:00 AM  

kth: santadog: I rent a 2bdrm Cabin w/fireplace, w/d, 1ba. $650 per month, Oct-April. May 1st it becomes a vacation rental for the summer, and goes for $400 per night.

Tourism... how does it work?

I thought of you as I drove by the scooter shop all week last week. The husband and I bailed on both families and went to our condo, which is in the neighborhood across the street.


heheh.. I'm in your mind!!!
Funny, those condos across from the shop. I do always feel like I'm being watched. Then, come to find out over the years... I am being watched. The first condo directly across from me.. Awesome Greek couple who have adopted me. They wave at me all the time, and once in awhile, the Mrs. will come over with some Greek cooking for me.
 
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