Do You Really Gotta Have a Gimmick?

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gimmickIn one of my favorite songs from the musical Gypsy, three burlesque dancers instruct the girl who would become Gypsy Rose that, “Kid, you gotta get a gimmick if you wanna get ahead.”

And now, it seems everyone in real estate or even the hospitality industry has taken that mantra to heart, to questionable ends.

We’ve discussed those gimmicks before: half-naked models in your listing photos, dirty dancers in your home video, dinosaurs, grinches, Halloween costumes, and a sex dungeon have all managed to make their way into the Wednesday WTF.

But this week’s may take the cake.

In the pantheon of gimmickry, let’s plunk down this gimmick down next to that aforementioned list: A hotel in Japan where rooms are $1.

Now, you may be saying, “Well, I’m poor and that sounds great.”

But of course, there’s a catch.

In this case, the catch is that the room is livestreamed over the Internet the entire time.


“Tetsuya Inoue, who took over the Asahi Ryokan hotel in Fukuoka from his grandmother last year, said he was looking for ways to boost business and was inspired by a British YouTuber who livestreamed his time at the hotel,” explains this story from UPI.

Inoue told CNN that you all can relax, because the feed is video-only, so nobody can hear your conversations or phone calls, and the bathroom is out of range of the cameras. You’re also allowed to turn out the lights.

“This is a very old ryokan and I was looking into a new business model,” he said. “Our hotel is on the cheaper side, so we need some added value, something special that everyone will talk about.”

According to Inoue’s YouTube channel, when there are no guests in the room, he occasionally streams his own house instead.

If you want to see the four folks who agreed to show the world their bedhead, you can find the One Dollar Hotel’s YouTube channel here.

Look below for the livestream (which currently is of … nothing), and do let us know in the comments — would you stay in a hotel for $1 a night if you knew the world could watch you?

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Adlene Neely Dealey

Adlene has been a real estate writer for the better half of a decade, but only recently came to to write our Wednesday WTF column. Have a doozy of a listing not fit for public consumption? She wants to see it.

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