Forget Sandy: Groupon, LivingSocial Offer Deals for NYC Restaurants, Jersey Shore Getaways
Much of New York and New Jersey is still struggling to recover from Sandy, the devastating storm that has ruined miles of coastline and left millions without power and transportation.
But daily-deals sites LivingSocial and Groupon are soldiering on, offering discounts to resorts on the Jersey Shore and restaurants in Lower Manhattan, two areas most affected by the disaster.
LivingSocial users can buy a one-night stay for two in the Captain's Quarters at the Heron Suites on Long Island (Southold, N.Y.) for $119, or get three laser toenail fungus treatments from New York Foot Experts -- which has one location in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan -- for $289.
The Heron Suites is closed, does not have power and is yet to announce a date for reopening.
Groupon is offering a two-course Moroccan meal at Rustic L.E.S. on Manhattan's Lower East Side for $34 for the next three days.
Considering diners would have to dine by candlelight if they hope to redeem their deal anytime soon, Rustic seems appropriately named. Thus far, six people have purchased the Groupon.
Rustic L.E.S. was not answering its phone at time of press.
Future Tan Midtown is offering a month of unlimited spray tanning through LivingSocial, presumably for New Yorkers who have been forced indoors by the storm.
Some of the hotels offering rooms booked through daily-deals sites are open to visitors, however.
LivingSocial is offering a one-night stay for two in the "Gatsby-esque" Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. The hotel is open and expects to have all its amenities available after the weekend.
LivingSocial Director of Communications Maire Griffin said that the company is reaching out to merchant clients and customers to assess on a case-by -case basis whether purchased deals should still be redeemable in light of damage caused by Sandy.
Ms. Griffin said that because most of the "escapes," travel-related deals, are for trips three months in advance, most purchases are not likely to be affected by the storm once the escape becomes redeemable. However, the company is removing deals for hotels that have suffered damage.
"What we have done in light of the storm is we have been in touch with our different hotel partners, and for those that have been affected we've pulled them off the site for now," Ms. Griffin said.
So far, LivingSocial has only pulled two escapes from its site, and Ms. Griffin says those hotels will likely renew their offers at a later date. LivingSocial has also begun contacting restaurant clients to see if they too would like to continue their discount offers.
Customers will be notified as to whether deals they purchased for merchants affected by the storm will eventually be redeemable, or if they're eligible for a refund.
For its part, Groupon says its making allowances for the storm aftermath. "For the immediate future several Groupon markets in the Northeast will be opt-in only for businesses, meaning previously scheduled merchants will be postponed unless they contact us to confirm they still wish to run," Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler said in a statement. "We are also calling merchants in affected areas to check in and offer our assistance as possible."
Now, if only everyone still had internet access.