short rentals
Inside the Hotel Industry’s Plan to Combat Airbnb
Newly obtained documents show how the American Hotel and Lodging Association is taking steps to curb the online short-term rental company.
By Katie Benner

SAN FRANCISCO — Last year, Airbnb underwent a rough regulatory patch.

The short-term rental company became a Federal Trade Commission target last summer after three senators asked for an investigation into how companies like Airbnb affect soaring housing costs. In October, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a bill imposing steep fines on Airbnb hosts who break local housing rules.

The two actions appeared unrelated. But one group quietly took credit for both: the hotel industry.

In a presentation in November, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, a trade group that counts Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels as members, said the federal investigation and the New York bill were “notable accomplishments.”

Both were partly the result of a previously unreported plan that the hotel association started in early 2016 to thwart Airbnb. The plan was laid out in two separate documents that the organization presented to its board in November and January. In the documents, which The New York Times obtained, the group sketched out the progress it had already made against Airbnb, and described how it planned to rein in the start-up in the future.

The plan was a “multipronged, national campaign approach at the local, state and federal level,” according to the minutes of the association’s November board meeting.

The documents provide an inside look at how seriously the American hotel industry is taking Airbnb as a threat — and the extent to which it is prepared to take action against it.

In the past, hotel executives typically played down the privately held company’s impact on the $1.1 trillion American hotel industry. As recently as December, a Marriott executive dismissed Airbnb as not “really making headway in the corporate environment, which is really our bread-and-butter business.”

Yet there is now little mistaking that Airbnb is encroaching on the traditional hotel business. The company, which is based in San Francisco, was founded in 2008 as a way for people to easily list and rent out their spare rooms or their homes online. Since then, about 150 million travelers have stayed in three million Airbnb listings in more than 191 countries, according to the company.

Airbnb has raised more than $3 billion and secured a $1 billion line of credit, according to the research firm CB Insights. Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, has said the company could be ready to go public in a year. Investors have pegged Airbnb’s value at around $30 billion; in contrast, Hilton’s market capitalization is $19 billion and Marriott’s $35 billion.

All of that has hurt hotel operators. Airbnb has brought hotel pricing down in many places during holidays, conventions and other big events when room rates should be at their highest and the industry generates a significant portion of its profits, said Vijay Dandapani, chief executive of the Hotel Association of New York City, which works with the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The industry’s plan against Airbnb shows “the hotel cartel is intent on short-sheeting the middle class so they can keep price-gouging consumers,” Nick Papas, a spokesman for Airbnb, wrote in an email. “With more than 250 government partnerships over the last year, we have shown our seriousness of purpose when it comes to putting in place fair rules.”

The national hotel association said its push against Airbnb was not about the platform’s financial impact on hotels.

“Airbnb is operating a lodging industry, but it is not playing by the same rules,” Troy Flanagan, the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s vice president for state and local government affairs, said in an interview.

The main prongs of the association’s plan to constrain Airbnb include lobbying politicians and state attorneys general to reduce the number of Airbnb hosts, funding studies to show Airbnb is filled with people who are quietly running hotels out of residential buildings and highlighting how Airbnb hosts do not collect hotel taxes and are not subject to the same safety and security regulations that hotel operators must follow.

The group said it would focus its efforts in key markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Washington and Miami.

The efforts were spearheaded last year by Katherine Lugar, chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The trade group began to form alliances with politicians, affordable housing groups and neighborhood associations. The industry also forged relationships with hotel labor unions — which it typically faces off against on many issues — about dealing with Airbnb.

In total, the association has a $5.6 million annual budget for regulatory work.

In New York, the association began working with local affiliates to lobby state legislators and the governor’s office to adopt steeper fines for New York City hosts that list on Airbnb in violation of local law, a move that hotel operators had hoped would help increase their business.

The association also sought help from politicians in Washington. In its documents, the group said it had worked with Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dianne Feinstein of California. The three Democrats sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in July “raising concerns about the short-term rental industry,” one of the hotel association documents said.

Ms. Feinstein’s office referred requests for comment to Mr. Schatz’s office. Mr. Schatz’s office and Ms. Warren’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

The association also met with legislators and attorneys general in dozens of other states to discuss how Airbnb hosts often do not comply with rules imposed on hotels, like anti-discrimination legislation, local tax collection laws, and safety and fire inspection standards. In some markets, the group said, Airbnb is dodging payment of local lodging taxes. In other places, it encouraged officials not to collect taxes from Airbnb hosts so as not to legitimize short-term rentals.

The association claimed legal and regulatory victories last year in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as in states like Virginia, Tennessee and Utah, where laws were being passed to restrict Airbnb activity. The organization also funded research conducted by a professor at Pennsylvania State University to show that many Airbnb hosts were breaking the law.

“We are trying to showcase and bust the myth that Airbnb supports mom and pop and helps them make extra money,” Mr. Flanagan, of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said. “Homesharing is not what this is about.”

This year, the association plans to fund more anti-Airbnb research and roll out a testimonial campaign of people hurt by home sharing, “to provide a counterweight to Airbnb’s strategy of presenting a unified, working-class face,” according to the group’s documents. The campaign will be “a cornerstone of the 2017 communications strategy,” it said.

Edward Walker, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who focuses on grass-roots lobbying by businesses, said such a public call to mobilize against Airbnb was unusual. But because Airbnb itself has “quite effectively gotten hosts involved in its advocacy work,” the hotel industry will have to break with conventional lobbying, too, he said.

The hotel association’s efforts have succeeded in disrupting some Airbnb hosts. Sebastian de Kleer, owner of Globe Homes, a short-term rental company based in Los Angeles, had listed some of his properties on Airbnb for more than a year. But Airbnb canceled his Los Angeles listings from its site in March 2016 after the hotel association argued to local politicians that Airbnb hosts like Mr. de Kleer were raising the cost of housing in the city by renting out properties for short-term use rather than for long-term tenants.

“Because there was so much pushback here in Los Angeles, we got kicked off” Airbnb, Mr. de Kleer said. “That was $250,000 in reservations. It was not very professional.”

Mr. de Kleer said he had since gotten over his removal from Airbnb in Los Angeles. He still uses the site to list his many properties in Palm Springs, Calif., where short-term rentals are common and are not controversial.

Airbnb supporters outside New York’s City Hall in 2015. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York signed a bill last year imposing steep fines on Airbnb hosts who break local housing rules. The hotel industry supported the law. Credit Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press



‘The Vampire Diaries’ season 1: sentence meme

Send one to my muse for their reaction

  • “Let’s not kill anyone tonight. Your words. Just pointing that out.”
  • “I’m trusting you. Don’t make me regret it.”
  • “I’m not some drunk sorority chick. You can’t Roofy me.”
  • “Human life means that little to you?”
  • “You saw what I was able to do tonight. I know who I am now.”
  • “Let go of me before I cause a scene.”
  • “Short-term rentals and hotels are a bit of a gray area.”
  • “You don’t have to push me away. I can do this.”
  • “Don’t look for any redeeming qualities. I don’t have any.”
  • “I will start fresh. Be someone new. It’s the only way I’ll make it through.”
  • “You? Help me? Seems a little unnatural.”
  • “I’m showing you how easy it is for me to hurt the ones you love.”
  • “Somewhere along the way, you decided I was worth saving. I wanted to thank you for that.”
  • “I really liked you better when you hated everybody.”
  • “I’m worse than shallow. I’m a kiddie pool.”
  • “Don’t you get it? I’m better off without you.”
  • “I’m not gonna hurt you, unless you try that again.”
  • “I don’t do good. It’s not in me.”
  • “You just don’t wanna die, do you?”
  • “You’re gonna have to do a little better than “I’m sorry."”
  • “I’m here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl.”
  • “If I see something I haven’t seen before, I’ll throw a dollar at it.”
  • “I think you should stop with the flirty little comments and the eye thing you do.”
  • “I like being a living dead person.”
  • “Don’t say anything. You’re a dick. End of story.”
  • “I do believe in killing the messenger. Know why? It sends a message.”
  • “You’re taking a stupid risk. I could hurt you.”
  • “Can we not kill anyone tonight, please?”
  • “All I can remember is hating you. There may been a time when that was different, but your choices have erased that.”
  • “Today has been a no-good, very-bad day.”
  • “I made it through the day. I must have said "I’m fine” 37 times.”
  • “If you’re just gonna mock me, can you just move along?”
  • “I want you out of the house, and my life, by morning.”
  • “Turn it up a little bit. It’s not annoying yet.”
  • “Well, you don’t need to be snarky about it.”
  • “Don’t. Ever. Threaten. Me. Again.”
  • “Art implies culture and culture implies… not you.”
  • “You just pointed out that I have no self-control. Clever strategy.”
  • “Why does everyone have to die on me?”
  • “I am gonna drink until someone is hot enough to make out with.”
Airbnb signs dozens more tax agreements in the U.S., France

By Heather Somerville

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Airbnb has reached new deals with dozens of jurisdictions in the United States and France to collect and pay taxes, doubling down on its effort to improve its image with local policymakers even as it face regulatory challenges around the world.

Airbnb, the short-term rental service that offers a website where homeowners can rent out a room or their entire property, has collected $240 million in hotel and occupancy taxes since it was founded in 2008, remitting them to the jurisdictions where the company has agreements, Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas told Reuters.

The most recent tax agreements, formally announced by the company Tuesday, came in eight U.S. cities and counties, the state of Texas and 31 cities in France, making for a total of 275 agreements, Papas said. The taxes, which Airbnb says are at the same rate paid by hotels, will be collected beginning May 1 for the newest agreements. More than half of Airbnb’s U.S. listings are in communities where we the company collects and remits taxes, Papas said.

Chris Bryan, a spokesman for the Texas comptroller, said Airbnb approached Texas with the offer to pay taxes.

“The state saw this as the most efficient way of bringing these people into tax compliance rather than going after thousands and thousands of homeowners,” he said.

Texas is the 20th U.S. state with which Airbnb has a deal. Seeking agreements with more states allows the company to avoid the thorny local politics in cities where it faces opposition.

It is still unclear how successful Airbnb will be in collecting and remitting all the taxes it had pledged because many of these agreements are less than a year old. Critics of the deals have questioned how local officials could have enough data on Airbnb hosts to verify how much tax the company ought to pay.

Airbnb’s push to address taxes has helped to weaken one of the arguments made by the hotel industry against the company’s growing presence in major cities.

But the tax agreements have not quieted critics’ concerns that Airbnb, valued at $31 billion, has exacerbated housing shortages and brought unwanted traffic into neighborhoods.

In April, Airbnb reached an agreement with Miami-Dade County in Florida to collect taxes but the mayor of the city of Miami Beach, part of Miami-Dade County, remains a vocal opponent to Airbnb. The city allows Airbnb in areas that are zoned for short-term rentals but not in residential neighborhoods, said Mayor Philip Levine.

“When you bought a house you didn’t bargain on having a nightclub next to you,” he said. “You relied on having the zoning of the city protect you.”

Airbnb said last year it collected $19 million in taxes in San Francisco, $7 million in San Diego and $3 million in Chicago.

Several cities declined to confirm how much tax Airbnb had paid, citing taxpayer confidentiality rules.

(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Bill Trott)


A small, locally owned business, Wolf Creek Realty occupies the first floor of the white clapboard building. In addition to brokering house sales, they also handle short term vacation home rentals in and around Serendipity during the summer tourist season.

There was a safety to the short rental with Tiffany that the slave was enjoying after the first hellish weekend on the island.  While always confident on stage, it allowed Marigold even more freedom to slip into that dancer’s skin again, to be confident and flirty and do her job damn well.

While she was used to being watched as her bare body moved and writhed beneath the flashing lights, she could sense something different.  Someone different.  Icy blue eyes that she was all too familiar with, her heart seizing suddenly in her chest.  Not here.  How could he be here?

It was expected of her to work the crowd when she was done on stage, but there was no way that she could, not without taking a moment to collect herself.  As soon as her set was done she was marching towards the dressing room, intent to avoid the man as long as she could.  “What is he doing here?” she asked herself, unaware that Milo was approaching her regardless of her intent to slip away.


I didn’t choose this life - Chapter 8

- Jeon Jungkook

Warning: Violence

Words: 637

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9

Masterlist: [X]

Originally posted by baebsaes

Jungkook sighed.

“Why don’t you just let me run?” He asked.

“I can’t and you know why.” He said.

“You’re always trapped in this lifestyle, don’t think you can just leave it like that.” He yelled.

Jungkook let go of her hand and ran over and punched his brother in the face, he was going to die tonight either way. He had nothing to lose but her he thought as he punched him again.

His brother pushed him to the ground, beating him hard, blood gushing out of his nose. She ran over to them and pushed him off, earning her a hard slap across the face.

Jungkook stood up in rage. “Don’t fucking touch her.” He yelled, punching him in the stomach. 

Another car pulled up and her brother stepped out of it, walking over to her. She ran away from him.

Jungkook took another punch to the face, knocking him to the ground, his gun falling out of his jeans. She ran past him and picked up the gun with shaking hands before she turned around, aimed and pulled the trigger.

The bullet going straight through her brother’s chest, causing him to fall to the ground. She screamed and cried, not of fear, her fear was gone. Adrenaline.

Jungkook’s brother kicked him in the side, causing him to cough violently.

She shot them all. The men in the suits falling down one by one before she dropped the gun on the ground, shaking, falling.

Jungkook kicked his brother’s leg causing him to fall to the ground, he climbed over him and aimed to grab the gun in his pocket. Both of them covered in blood and bruises. He grabbed Jungkook by the hair pulling hard causing him to scream.

Jungkook was laying on the ground, his brother above him. Jungkook had the gun in his hand, and hand his brother was pressing under his foot.

“Let go off the gun Jungkook.” He yelled, pressing even harder on his hand, making him loose his grip of the gun. 

His brother quickly picked it up and aimed it down to his head.

A shot echoed through the silence.

Straight through the head.

Instant death.

Falling to the ground.

 She standing behind him, her arm raised, a gun in her hand.

Jungkook’s brother fell lifeless to the ground.

She ran over and pulled his brother off him and helping him up on his feet. “Are you ok?” She asked. “I- thank you.” Was the only words he got out, before he broke down in tears.

She held him as he let the wave of emotions out.

He was crying, a mixture of sadness, happiness and relief, hugging her hard.

It was over.

They stepped into the apartment Jungkook had purchased for them on the computer when they were at the short-term rental place. Luckily, since both of them were covered with blood which would cause questions if they walked in to a hotel like that.

It was big and unfurnished. The two of them walked in to the bathroom together taking their clothes off and putting them in the sink, before entering the shower together.

The water on the floor was a mixture of brown and red.

“There’s a thing I have to do before I can feel free.” Jungkook said.

Originally posted by theking-or-thekid

He was back.

The place where everything started, the place of pain, suffering, the place with no feeling of freedom at all.

He walked in to his old house and into his brother’s office.

He sat on the chair and opened a draw, taking out a bunch of documents, he grabbed a lighter from his pocket, setting the paper on fire before standing up and tossing the papers over the room. He kicked over the desk before he ran out, the fire spreading.

Originally posted by jengkook

anonymous asked:

Hey. I'm in a short term rental off Calhoun and my 60+ yr old landlady is banging Citadel cadets. She says she's part of a sponsorship, home away from home program for the guys. They can hang out at her place, do laundry etc. it seems that part of that is her doing them. These boys are hot! What's up with that? I think I need to apply to be a sponsor!

These boys are hot 😎

ConTEMplating: Design Inspirations for Wheelchaired Temmie Costume

HOI I’m tEMMIE wit TEM sHOP tO-gO @ PAX eEST!!!11

Costume: Tem Shop Temmie

Series (game): Undertale

Made by: Me!

If you went to PAX East 2016 and saw me in my wheelchaired Temmie costume and my to-go Tem shop, come say hi! (If that’s you in the image, I want to credit you!)

Undertale is a lovely RPG with the stereotypical setup of a human among monsters, with many awesome spins on the usual game mechanics. You make choices in the game, and it affects things. It’s short, so go into this game blind (seriously, don’t don’t look up anything else to avoid spoilers) and go get the game.

While at the con and in my costume, I got asked a few questions like “Are you okay? Are you handicapped?”, and I figured that more people are curious. This post covers more of the circumstances and inspiration for this costume.

Keep reading

Life Update: Our Move to Raleigh

I’ve mentioned it a few times here and there, but never really went into detail about our big life change: packing up our entire lives in Virginia (where we’ve lived for 12/13 years) and moving to Raleigh!

It has always been a long-term plan of ours to move south. We didn’t know where, exactly, but we yearned for a more affordable lifestyle, less traffic, and more mild weather. Plus, I have a lot of family in NC/SC and my parents are moving to the Charlotte area early next year! We were thinking it would have been another year or two before pulling the trigger, but Eric began perusing job boards in September – just to get a feel for what was out there – and ended up applying to two in Raleigh. He got calls back from both firms the very next day and had phone/Skype interviews set up soon thereafter, which he actually took on our vacation in Florida!

In mid-October, on our way back from our OBX trip with friends, we “swung by” Raleigh so he could do an in-person interview with the one firm he really liked. They met, they talked, he was offered the job the next week. Eric thought it over and decided to take it; I quit my job soon after he did. (I was lucky enough to be able to stay at my job for a few months as a contractor so I didn’t have to worry about finding something new right away.)

His start date ended up being November 30 so we had to immediately put our house on the market. After a good number of showings and open houses, we were under contract in 14 days. (We close next week, so fingers crossed nothing crazy occurs between now and then!)

In the meantime, we got a short-term rental here in Raleigh because the other crazy thing about this whole move, other than doing it so quickly, is that neither of us had actually ever visited the city. So this gives us a chance to live here for six months (then monthly thereafter) and get to know the area and where we want to buy.  Everything was falling into place so effortlessly so we took it as being “meant to be.”

So that’s the story! So far we’re really liking it. The people are nice, the traffic… ha.  Ellie just started daycare on Friday and had a great day, though today when I dropped her off she was hugging me and crying so that was new, and sad, but she will be fine! Just a lot of new to take in and process for such a tiny person. And if anyone has any leads for marketing jobs, holler at me!

P.S. Thank you to all you Raleigh people who have reached out and made me feel welcome! I want to hang out with each and every one of you! Send me a message and let’s plan something! (There are a lot of you here and I forget everyone who said they lived here, sorry! It was a crazy couple of months.) I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting Julie (@thecooknook) and her adorable Nora and Caroline for a play date last week, and have brunch with Natasha (@oh-onelovelyday) this weekend! Yay Raleigh!

Gail and Holly Go to Utah

Rated T for some kinda steamy kissing and language

Rated F for fluffy to the extreme.

(trigger warnings: mentions of alcohol and smoking; brief mention of gun related violence)

Gail knew coming to Utah with Holly for a forensics conference was a bad idea as soon as they had disembarked from the plane. She could smell something off in the air. Holly explained to her that it was just the inversion in the air - that the air was highly polluted, equivalent to smoking a pack a day of cigarettes. While Gail found that little tidbit of information absolutely disgusting, and proceeded to pull her shirt over her face as soon as Holly had mentioned that fact, Gail also knew that the worst had yet to come. She could feel it in her bones. Upon repeating her feeling of foreboding to Holly, her girlfriend just rolled her eyes and ushered the suspicious woman towards baggage claim.

While Gail waited for their bags, Holly headed off to grab the rental car. Holly was a keynote speaker at the ARUP Pathology Conference this year, their emphasis for the 2016 conference being on forensic pathology. Holly had met the conference organizer, Dr. Rick Holloway when she had worked as a visiting professor for a semester at Stanford’s School of Medicine. It had been a great opportunity - one that Gail really couldn’t fault Holly for taking; it was Stanford University. While teaching, Holly had also consulted on a research project with Dr. Holloway culminating in her coming to this conference to watch the final research material being presented, but also to address some of the concepts that she assisted on in a follow-up keynote address. Gail didn’t understand half of it, but Holly was excited and that meant Gail was excited for her.

Besides, it was 5 days alone with Holly at a resort & spa that neither one of them had to pay for. It meant that Gail didn’t have to keep herself on an alcohol budget. A fact that made Gail very happy. She had been cutting down on the excessive alcohol consumption ever since she was trying to be a responsible mom and what not, but with Sophie safely staying with Traci back in Toronto, Gail was going to embrace the 5 days of alcohol freedom with gusto.

Keep reading


                                      как перебраться за бугор 101

                                          1. Собрать чемоданы 

                                                       2. Уебать 

  Ну а если вы более психически уравновешенны, слушайте сюда.

1. Почему вы хотите уехать? 

Ваша жизнь в Урюпинске кажется вам скучной? Спешу разочаровать, жизнь в Нью-Йорке можеть быть скучнее жизни в Урюпинске. “If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere” на самом деле относится к любому месту на земле, не только к воспетому Джей Зи и Алишей Кис Нью-Йорку. И если вы не приложили никаких усилий, чтоб жить в Урюпинске как в Нью-Йорке, подождите уезжать. Потому что куда бы вы ни ехали, вы везде возите с собой чемодан проблем и.. себя. 

Если вы уже живете как урюпинский король и взяли от жизни максимум, можете рассчитывать на мою помощь полупрофессионального паковальщика чемоданов. 

2. Куда вы едете?

Процесс переезда в любую страну - муторное дело. От “Карету мне, карету!” до самой кареты может пройти не один месяц. Приберегите лишнюю пару сотен нервных окончаний, запаситесь терпением, и начните немедля. У каждой страны разные иммиграционные нюансы, поэтому проще отталкиваться от места. С разбросом от LA до Веллингтона у вас могут уйти годы на переезд. Если вы знаете куда хотите ехать, тогда переходим к следующему пункту. 

3. Что вы будете там делать? 

Работа? Сначала надо ее найти, чтоб получить рабочую визу. Учеба? Этим тоже заниматься надо заранее. Поеду туристом, а там разберусь? Удачи! Тоскливая жизнь русского иммигранта и забугорные скитания вам обеспечены. Люди, которые уезжают за границу таким образом, обречены годами нелегально подрабатывать официантами, dog-волкерами и нянями. 

4. Где жить? 

Если вы знаете куда вы едете и зачем (работа/учеба/брак по любви/фиктивный брак/хуй знает - нужное подчеркнуть), вопрос жилья не так уж и геморроен. Как человек, который снимал жилье раз-так 20, могу вас в этом заверить. Если вы едете на срок минимум в год, есть смысл снять комнату/номер в отеле/койку в хостеле на первую неделю-две, а потом найти жилье на месте. Таким образом вы в разы снижаете шансы попасть в scam после оплаты жилья онлайн. Если же вы едете на срок в 3 или меньше месяца, а дальше планируете решать по ситуации, найти short term rentals можно на этих вебсайтах - AirBnb, LiveLovely и Craiglist (с последним осторожно, много наеба). 

5. Что взять с собой? 

Если вы точно едете, то процесс переезда в новую жизнь - самая интригующая chapter. Не повторяйте моих ошибок и не берите с собой добрую половину вашего имущества - все купится на месте со временем. Из архиважного: 

- копии всех документов по всем и сумкам и карманам

- лекарства. за бугром многие лекарства продаются только с prescription (в Америке не купить ни один антибиотик без похода к врачу, а в Китае лекарство от простуды продают только по предъявлению паспорта). пара пачек активированного угля облегчит вам жизнь. 

- бабулины носки и безразмерный свитер. с отсутствием отопления, кондиционерами или непогодой у вас все шансы заболеть спустившись с трапа. 

- фотокарточки родных. куда бы я ни ехала, на новом месте самые близкие люди всегда улыбаются мне с новых стен, и становится чуточку менее страшно. 

  На огонь, воду и грустные глаза иммигранта можно смотреть вечно. Поэтому я планирую делиться с вами своими познаниями, хитростями и F.A.Q. на тему переезда за бугор. С пожеланиями прошу в комментарии. 

by @veronicavero.ГлавВред. Манхэттен, Нью-Йорк.