Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Airbnb, the person-to-person room rental website, is making the case for its presence in New York City. With the release of a new economic impact study, the company claims it is bringing hospitality dollars to neighborhoods far from the hotel district in midtown Manhattan.
For example, 22,450 visitors stayed with Airbnb hosts just in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, over a one year period. According to the report conducted by HR&A Advisors for Airbnb, those visitors spent more than $14.5 million on room rentals, in restaurants and in shops.
The study found the company's total economic impact across the city was $632 million over a 12-month period in 2012-2013 when 416,000 guests stayed with Airbnb hosts.
Despite the cited boon to the city's the economy, the company has come under investigation by the New York Attorney General over questions about illegal hotels and unpaid taxes.
Airbnb says its users paid $43 million in state and local taxes.