Did Airbnb Kill the Mountain Town?:
Very interesting look at the unintended consequences of short term rentals – STRs as the author calls them – like Airbnb.
I stay in Airbnbs and the like for the same reasons you do. Because I have a family and I want to cook and have multiple rooms. Because I have bikes or other equipment and don’t want to be hassled by the front desk. Because I indeed want to “live like a local” in a quiet, quaint neighborhood. STRs have become so familiar that they already come with their own rituals and clichés, their own weird sense of déjà vu. There’s the three-ring binder stuffed with brochures, the tips from the host, the Wi-Fi password. The odd box of pasta and random condiments. The signs that speak to the failures of previous guests. (In mine: “Please only use the remote to turn the fireplace on or off.”)
From 19th century miners to 20th-century skiers, people have long sought a temporary abode in mountain towns. The difference now is how we’re finding them. “The stat I cite is that in 2010, 8 percent of leisure travelers used STRs,” says Matt Kiessling, with the Travel Technology Association (funded by Airbnb, HomeAway, and Trip Advisor). “By the end of 2016, that was projected to be one in three.”
For ski towns throughout the West, perhaps the most pressing challenge related to STRs is workforce housing. “It’s always an issue, and this has just exacerbated it,” Bowes says. “Homes that used to be rented to the workforce, that offered year leases, are suddenly being pulled out from under them and put on the short-term market.”
Never thought that STRs would have that kind of effect, but it makes sense.