A hotel boom grows in Brooklyn

NYHTC — August 23, 2010

The New York Times recently reported that Brooklyn is experiencing a boom in new hotel development, with an estimated 40 hotels currently being constructed or planned. The newly opened Sheraton Brooklyn and several Best Western hotels now offer competition to the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge hotel, and more expensive boutique hotels have established a presence in several areas in Brooklyn, such as Boerum Hill (Nu Hotel), Williamsburg (Hotel Le Jolie), and Park Slope (Hotel Le Bleu).

Lower costs for real estate and construction make hotel development in Brooklyn far more affordable than Manhattan, and this appears to be the main reason why so many new hotels are being built there. Average room rates - based on May figures - are $147 in Brooklyn, as compared to $255 in Manhattan and $205 in New York City overall, making Brooklyn quite appealing to the budget-conscious traveler. While not a traditional destination for business travelers, owners and managers of the newer Brooklyn hotels report getting a mix of business and leisure travelers, as well as guests who come to visit family and friends who live in Brooklyn.

It should be noted that contrary to what was reported in the New York Times, wages and operating costs between Brooklyn and Manhattan are not comparable. Employees working in limited service, non-union hotels earn much lower wages than union hotels, and the working conditions are often dreadful. These types of hotels are difficult to organize, are becoming more numerous each year, and continue to threaten union density.