NEW YORK (Real Money) -- Sometimes being a real business person helps. Some people on Twitter have been knocking me for mentioning the restaurant and inn that I own. You know what? That's fine. Let me tell you why.
First, I have been recommending Priceline (PCLN), Expedia (EXPE) and even TripAdvisor (TRIP) forever, because I have seen the power of these Internet travel companies first hand. I know that a TripAdvisor review means the world for an inn. Every morning, we see the reservations that Expedia enters right into our "checkerboard," the computer term we use for our reservation board. Expedia takes a cut of every room booked, but that's OK, because we get paid ahead of the patron coming, and that's a huge relief, and it allows us to avoid having a person manning the desk at all times. I know Priceline because of all the foreign visitors we have and how they like to use the product for low airfares.
Yelp (YELP)? It is a remarkably powerful force for both the inn and the restaurant. I check the reviews constantly, and I know that good reviews can really bring in the customers, although, of course, the opposite is true too.
The inn and restaurant are in the radius of Newark Airport, something that your mobile phone app from Yelp tells you when you land, and that has provided a huge number of customers. We don't advertise on Yelp, simply because we are filled most nights and because we have only 17 rooms. Coincidentally, we have only 17 tables at the restaurant, so it too is really too small to merit advertising on Yelp.