STATEN ISLAND — Instead of driving away to a cabin in the woods this year you can just rent a tiny home in a Staten Island park this summer.
Tiny house rental company Getaway installed three, 200-square-feet homes on the shoreline of a Staten Island park where people can spend the night. The rentals are part of a pop-up "Getaway at Gateway" program the company partnered with the National Park Service to install the homes until Labor Day.
"We want to take people and help them rejuvenate and recharge," said Peter Davis, co-founder of Getaway. "Get out of the city, get to nature and escape."
The cabins have modest amenities like a toilet, shower, a kitchenette, limited electricity, a cooler, warm water and a propane stove. They also have a cellphone lockbox for guests to disconnect, an outdoor fire pit and a large window overlooking the sea. They even have a tiny bed and breakfast offering of food, including granola, oatmeal, coffee and s'mores.
The location of the tiny homes are kept secret and visitors are only told how to get there 24 hours before their stay so people can't do much pre-planning beforehand, Davis said.
"Getaway is the anti-vacation. Vacations are too expensive, too far away and you want to plan them too much," said Davis. "We wanted this to really be part of a spontaneous adventure."
Guests can rent a unit for $150 a night, with a maximum seven-day stay, and the company has already fully booked its houses for the dates it made available so far.
However, Getaway only released half the summer dates so far and open up more each day at 10 a.m. to give everybody a chance to spend the night in a tiny home.
"We had wanted to make sure that if people heard about them later we didn't want this to just go to early birds," said Davis. "You would still have a shot at booking some nights."
Aside from the Staten Island spots, Getaway also rents tiny homes in the woods in upstate New York and some two-hour drives away from Boston.
The NPS reached out to Getaway earlier in the year to partner with the pop-up hoping to attract more people to visit their locations, Davis said.
While "Getaway at Gateway" is billed as a pop-up, Davis said they're in talks to bring it back next year and expand it if successful.
"If it goes well we hope we can come back and we hope we can expand this to more places that they want to draw people to," he said. "It's an experiment to see if it works, but it seems to be working."