NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The co-owner of a motel in New Jersey is gaining notoriety, amassing over 800,000 followers on TikTok.
It’s not for the money he’s earning, but for how he is treating his guests and helping them during some of their toughest times.READ MORE: New Jersey Announces COVID Vaccine And Booster Mandate For Health Care Workers And High-Risk Settings
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, it started out as a free night stay to anyone who followed him on TikTok, but the overwhelming response showed Brian Arya that during the pandemic, many were facing housing insecurity.
Arya, who goes by LTMotel on the social media site, says he soon began to offer free rooms to anyone who needed a place to stay, no questions asked.
Arya’s TikTok page was already gaining steam for his humorous skits with Steven, a guest turned permanent motel tenant 20 years ago, and the page is just as humorous as it is inspiring.
He says once his 800,000-plus followers caught wind of his generosity, the donations came pouring in. In one TikTok, he says a stranger who didn’t even stay at the motel paid for the next guest’s room.
Some of the donations were food and clothing.READ MORE: Biden Administration To Give Out 400 Million Free N95 Masks
Arya says his family has owned the Lincoln Tunnel Motel on Tonele Avenue in North Bergen for more than 30 years.
“When I got here, it was a 1.4-star rating and I joked about that a lot,” Arya said.
Now, he says the motel’s rating has climbed to 3.5 stars, but the biggest job, he says, after taking over the family business is spreading a simple message.
“I know everyone doesn’t have a 41-room haunted motel at their disposal to help people, right? But every single person has something to give back,” he said.
Following in his dad’s footsteps and making him proud every step of the way.MORE NEWS: Timeline: Snow Expected To Blanket The Tri-State Area Thursday Morning
CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.