There is an Airbnb listing, posted by Jonathan Powley, that seems almost too good to be true: located in New York, with a great view of the city, at only $39.00 a night. How, you might ask? The answer is simple—the rental is not a home or apartment, but rather a decommissioned yellow cab. This 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan has been completely revamped into an overnight shelter, with its backseats replaced by black and yellow sheets complete with a bed stowed in the back.
According to The New York Times, this taxi has been in very high demand; it was booked for almost every night that Powley made it available, and attracted visitors from locales ranging from Singapore to Brooklyn. Powley even said that people spend anniversaries in the taxi, as it’s “very romantic.”
In New York City Powley’s car is both affordable and convenient. Even more importantly, it’s unique. “It’s fun to be able to say you slept in a cab,” Tabitha Akins, a former guest of Powley’s taxi, noted.
Powley, a stand-up comedian, acknowledged that this factor was crucial to the success of his model, but elaborated that he utilizes his degree in hotel and restaurant management to create a comfortable atmosphere within the taxi for his guess. “You can always make people’s experiences better. It’s not just like, ‘Hey, here’s a van, sleep in it,’” he said. Here at MetroButler, we agree that enhancing customer experience is crucial to success, which is why we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that our guests feel like locals.
Unfortunately, Powley’s taxi didn’t garner rave reviews from everyone, as some guests have complained about the smell, the lack of bathrooms, and the cramped space available. However, Powley is confident in his model, and knows that for the right people, his rental offering will prove to be compelling.
Could taxi rentals represent the new frontier in hospitality? We at MetroButler aren’t sure, but eagerly anticipate future development in this area. The guest’s experience is our priority; just like Powley uses his taxi to give customers an authentic taste of New York, we make sure that our guests have a unique, special experience whenever they stay in one of our properties.
If you’re wondering where the best place is to grab a coffee or a quick bite, you can check out a custom property guide we have to give our guests information on not only the apartment they are staying in, but also the area that it’s located in. For an added cherry on top, thanks to our partnership with Quaker Oats, you even get free oatmeal samples when you stay in a MetroButler property! Talk about unique!