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Travelers--How Do You Figure Out How to Base Yourself in a New City?


buckguy
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I've just had some back & forth (by text, so the conversatuion has been truncated) with a guy from Chicago who is planning to visit and was planning to base himself in Baltimore (probably near BWI) and serve the DC area by car. I indicated to him that this general area is horrible for driving--few thru routes between B'more and DC, many choke points, long evening rush hour, etc. It's a deal breaker for me and I suggested he do what most guys do---stay in DC and encourage incalls, use Metro & canbs, etc.

 

I saw another guy a few months ago who was in the Virginia suburbs. I only went because I had an errand in the area. He was near a freeway interchange but at an awkward location in a general area that many people would view as Siberia. We discussed this--he didn't understand that guys living/staying in the city wouldn't want to go beyond Crystal City (close-in office/hotel area just over the Potomac from DC) where he had successfully based himself before (and even Crystal City would be a deal breaker for some).

 

I think guys from 'burbs, sprawlburgs, and small towns tend to make this kind of mistake. DC and many other cities are different from home and a car or carbound location won't work for their clientele.

 

I would think that looking at Rentboy's locations or even M4RN's zip codes would provide a clue, esp. when the guys are visitors. I'm curious how people get their intel. There are a few places like Detroit where the gays live in a cluster of suburbs and there are places like Atlanta where one has to find some compromise between city and subusbe access, but cities in the NE are places where basing in the city probably works best. The vast distances of SoCal seem to keep guys based in WeHo and reluctant to even go as far as downtown (easy if you know workarounds to avoid the Hollywood Freeway) or Santa Monica (tedious but doable at night).

 

So... how do you learn about how to base yourself in a new place and is there an easy way to help newbies figure this out?

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Buckguy,

 

I occasionally am ion DC area and like to hire but go to the guy (his place) and find it amazing some locate away from the usually city centre parts, but I also think that cost is a major factor. These guys are coming in to the city to work for 7-10 days or more, and so they want (probably) a chain hotel that gives them a long-term discount, is discreet without being on "lockdown" (which also turns off clients), and viable -- this last one is where those who actually live ion these cities could help because a guy who locates far from walking distance to a metro, or in DC in the WRONG section of town will find problems enticing locals who know the area to visit.

 

I knew a guy who came to DC and decided to locate next to Reagan National (Crystal City area) -- but not really "near" the metro, and most DC people I know would not enjoy crossing DC during a weekday and then going out to the burbs! I do know some guys who live outside of the district are very popular and clients do not at all mind going "the extra mile" but I am loathe to driving in the district with my own vehicle (for lack of parking places, traffic, long bumper-to-pumper waits), and so prefer moving around by Metro (and again, avoid as much as possible the bus system which -IMHO - is erratic at best.

 

In NYC it is the same with guys who decide to locate over in Queens (no offense to all my friends who live in Brooklyn and Queens) -- it is, yes, much cheaper for the short- and long-run, but I would think most clients are more than willing to go in and out of Manhattan, but are less secure going out to the boroughs (imagine a guy taking "in" calls on Staten Island!!!!)

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I've gone back and forth with myself for years over this topic. I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which is about 5 miles south of Midtown Manhattan- I just made the cab trip tonight and it's 22 minutes via cab through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

 

I would estimate about 30 percent of people calling requesting incalls are willing to come to my location. But outcalls make such a significant portion of my business that I've never really felt that the cost of relocation was justified.

Rick P- New York

(347) 526-8924

[email protected]

www.rentmen.eu/Rickyp

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Most cities are going to be the same: gay neighborhoods in center of city...but, you don't have to be in it...just convenient to it.

 

I did DC with a car and would do it again. I hate public transport in a new city...or any city. (when I did it in Boston, I was like a bum magnet walking thru town with a giant suitcase) However, that tends to come with a cost (which can be offset by cheaper hotels away from downtown. DC and Philly charged up to 45 a night to park which is just ridiculous. But, i've spent that on 1 cab ride too. Plus, street parking is usually available.

 

DC is one of those places you would do good to not stay too far away. But in reality, most cities aren't like that. Phoenix, Minneapolis, Kansas city are such examples.

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I've gone back and forth with myself for years over this topic. I live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which is about 5 miles south of Midtown Manhattan- I just made the cab trip tonight and it's 22 minutes via cab through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

 

I would estimate about 30 percent of people calling requesting incalls are willing to come to my location. But outcalls make such a significant portion of my business that I've never really felt that the cost of relocation was justified.

 

Rick, having had the great pleasure of hiring you, I somehow thought when I was calling you to come over that you were "nearer" to my place (UWS) since on the Google map on your "location" it pinpoints Hell's Kitchen or 42nd Street area... another dream of the veracity of internet ruined!!!! Park Slope is near where I went to high school!!!!! That you made it to my place on an evening in about 30-40 minutes is a miracle so my hat is off to you!

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Thanks, Adrian. It was a great pleasure meeting you as well. Yes, I can easily get to the upper West side in about 30 minutes give or take. During the day the 2/3 express train is very quick and at night a taxi will take me there in about the same amount of time. It's actually much closer than people think it is.

Rick P- New York

(347) 526-8924

[email protected]

www.rentmen.eu/Rickyp

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Hi,

 

First, pick a city with a lot of business. Chicago, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Dallas and San Francisco are all noteworthy locations.

Second, find a location convenient to your base. For instance, in SF, the majority of the demand comes from the north of the city and in the burbs.

You can use Airbnb for private apartment/housing arrangements, or you can check deals on hotels.

Third, figure out your logistics. How much is it going to cost to set up?

Personally, when I travel somewhere, I want to make at least 6x what I spend on travel and room.

What is an acceptable cost to profit ratio to you? 2K for every 1 k you spend? 4K to 1.5?

Decide what is acceptable in terms of of profit/loss

 

I sometimes put up ads in different cities and collect the email address and phone numbers of people who show interest.

 

Statistically, 25 percent of those people will actually show up for a session when I am in the area.

 

When I have hit a certain threshhold, I then can announce a trip.

Say at 250/hr, and it costs me on average 170 a day to travel to a place (average airfare, car, hotel, etc)

I would be personally comfortable bringing in 1.4K a day to justify the trip (roughly 5 visitors per day, or 20 people who say they are interested).

 

There may be more response than that, which is great, but you'll have the minimum needed to justify the trip.

 

Pay attention to the time of year as well. Demand rises at certain times, such as before holidays or major events.

 

And even after visiting a city, the same process applies. Just like at home, visitors come and go, and the base has to be refreshed with regular attention.

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