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President of the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc., Joseph E. Spinnato,
Issues Statement in Support of State Legislation to Crack Down
on Illegal Hotels in New York City


NEW YORK, July 19, 2010 -- "New York City's millions of visitors deserve safe and legal hotel accommodations. That's why the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) urges Governor Paterson to sign into law A.10008-B/S.6873-B, a measure approved by the State Legislature to help assure that all City visitors have a safe and legal place to stay.

"New York City's comprehensive fire and building codes require egress, signage, sprinkler and lighting requirements appropriate for transient hotels. Regrettably, a large and growing number of owners of residential buildings have taken apartments and scarce Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units off the market and offered them as hotel rooms, many advertising on the Internet. We believe that many -- if not most -- do not comply with the stricter codes designed for and applicable to hotels. Although there are penalties for owners who are caught, the chance for significant profit creates substantial incentive. Further, existing law is somewhat ambiguous making enforcement difficult.

"Sponsored by Assemblyman Gottfried and Senator Krueger, A.10008-B/S.6873-B clears up legal ambiguities that define residential and transient buildings, allowing City agencies to take the enforcement action they view as necessary to shut down illegal uses in these properties. It also allows older, but code-compliant, hotels to convert their certificates of occupancy to accurately reflect their status.

"This is not an availability issue. The New York market is well supplied with legitimate hotels. The owners of these hotels have spent the time and money to be code compliant, and they pay their occupancy taxes.

"It is not an issue of competition -- the hotel market in New York City has always been and will always be highly competitive because of the City's status as the premier tourist destination of the world.

"Rather, this is a safety issue and an issue of honesty to our visitors, insuring they get what they expect, pay for and are entitled to have.

"HANYC joins Mayor Bloomberg, the State Legislature and the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council in strong support of this bill."


Hotel Association of New York City, Inc.



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