New to the forum here. I had posted this in another thread, but figured it might get a bit more feedback if it was its own thread--so here goes.
I've been following the thread talking about the proposed NYC hostel legislation to re-allow hostels into the city (although with many restrictions--see this thread http://www.hostelmanagement.com/forums/proposed-new-york-hostel-legislation-survey.html for a little bit now, and couldn't help but try and get involved. I'm a young architect/designer living in Brooklyn, and this legislation struck a particular chord with me on multiple levels--being both a designer and a backpacker/hosteller myself. It has always blown my mind that there were no affordable short-term rental options for youth travelers looking to save money on accommodations (which, from experience, you generally spend only your nights in--and the rest of the day exploring). Yes, NYC has 'hostels,' but they are more like boutique hotels that still charge $100+/night for stay--and coming from experience after backpacking Europe last summer, that is 4x more than I spent at even the most expensive hostel in any of those big European cities. And after hearing about the banning of Airbnb here in NYC, I got to doing some research on the current situation for youth travelers looking to visit NYC. Thanks to this thread, I'm pretty up-to-date on the situation--which is looking better than it has been in the past.
As the articles posted above state, I also think there's a huge development possibility in this market. And considering the successful running (and overhead profit) of hostels comes from efficient use of space and layouts and the cost of real estate in NYC, I have gotten to brainstorming of ways to maximize the efficiency of these new hostels/retrotfits. I've been working on some ideas that I have about a modular system/designs that would use the fairly restrictive guidelines for new hostels (3 foot bed spacing, maximum number of beds per room, minimum air space per occupant, non-combustible furniture..etc). I've got a pretty good direction to head in as far as design, but wasn't quite sure if this would be of interest to developers and/or hostel owners/managers.
My only concern was if this legislation were to pass, what's to say that owners/developers couldn't just go and load up on ikea furniture for their hostels? Granted, this wouldn't be maximizing efficiency space-wise (since there is a required cubic air space per occupant--the higher the ceiling, the less actual floor space one would need hypothetically), but may be the cheapest option for existing buildings. Needless to say, I am interested in (and in the process of) developing a smart and cheap modular system that would allow hostel owners to build for cheaper and therefore rent beds for cheaper. Do you all think there would be any interest in something like this? In the end of the day, I know I'm interested in providing (youth) travelers a much needed outlet for cheap accommodations in NYC, but knowing the ever-greedy developers here in NYC, ideas like this could just turn into the Microunit craze that is hitting NYC and other major cities now. Started out as a way to develop cheaper urban living for younger dwellers who are willing to sacrifice space, but ended up charging way more per square foot in the end.
Either way, in general I'm interested to see what you people who are actually involved in the day-to-day operations of hostels have to say about the future of hostels in NYC if this legislation were to get passed.
Feel free to give me any sort of feedback at all, and also if anyone is interested in discussing these ideas further, shoot me an email at [email protected]