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THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016
The Rockaway Times
BookIt:
DESTINATIONROCKAWAY
ByPatMorgan
Got friends who need a place to
stay? Start with PlaylandMotel and
its refurbished rooms. Then ask
Community House if their rooms
are ready. The restaurant that just
opened last August is expected to
have a couple of rooms for rent by
summer.
And then there are other options.
More than eight million people vis-
itedRockawayduringthe2015sum-
mer season, according to the NYC
Parks Department. They expect to
meet and/or exceed that number
in 2016. The influx of visitors has
also created new opportunities to
accommodate people in search of
lodgingduringthesummermonths.
The peninsula had been famous
for bungalow rentals during its hey-
dayof the1930s and1940s tomostly
working class Jewish and Irish im-
migrant families. During that time,
Rockaway rivaled Coney Island and
as documented in the film “Bunga-
lowsofRockaway.”
Times have changed. So has the
technology and the people drawn
to the Rockaway beaches. Local
property owners are now taking ad-
vantage of the latest technology and
websites that connect a prospective
renter toalandlord.
Airbnb is one of them. It is an on-
linemarketplace for vacationrentals
that matches “Hosts” with property
to rent with “Guests” looking to rent
the space. Their website allows for
people to list, find, and rent lodg-
ing. To demonstrate how large this
newmarketplace is,Airbnbhasover
1,500,000 listings in34,000 cities and
190 countries. The business started
out as a low-cost alternative for peo-
ple who couldn’t book rooms in an
oversaturated hotel market. Airbnb
connects the hosts and the guests
without owning any rooms itself.
BoththeHost andtheGuestneedto
sign up and open an account. Their
mobile app (availableonAppleApp
StoreandGooglePlay)makes it eas-
ier for these transactions to happen.
However, thehostdoeshave theop-
tion to either accept or decline the
request, or ask the guest questions
about their trip.
At the time of this article, Airbnb
had 113 listings on the Rockaway
peninsula ranging from $26 for a
sofa for a night to $175 per night for
an entire house. On the website, a
guest has three search options: En-
tire home/apt (average price $154
per night), Private Room (average
$71pernight)andSharedRoom(av-
erage$58pernight).
Incomparison,Southampton,NY
has over 300 listings on Airbnb with
the average of $671 per night for a
home and $206 per night for a pri-
vate room. Manasquan, NJ also has
over 300 listings on Airbnb with the
averageof $310pernight for ahome
and$117pernightforaprivateroom
Another website is Feel at Home
Vacations, which is a locally based
enterprise that rents nine units on
Beach 110th Street and five units
on Beach 90th Street. They provide
nightly,weeklyandmonthly rentals.
There are alsoother sites like beach.
com getting in on this potential
growthmarket.
Besides the standard room or
house rentals, there is something for
the adventurous. Airbnb has a rent-
al for aHouseboat at theBeach59th
Street Marina. It is a four-bedroom,
one-bathroom floating houseboat
for rent on Jamaica Bay. The rental
is $850 per night plus a $1,000 secu-
rity deposit plus an additional $200
cleaningfee.
$850forahouseboat stay inRock-
away? Sounds likeabargain!
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