The city of Portland has said that it will readdress the issue of apartment and condo rentals later this year, the underlying hunch being that it hopes to find a way to make it legal. One of the city's housing executives suggested that the collected lodging taxes could be put back into the city and urban renewal projects.
While the hotel industry has already shown it is very concerned about this growing trend in travel, we've said from the very beginning we think competition is a good thing. The pros-and-cons of home rentals versus hotel rooms are out there and obvious, but perhaps this gives hotels something else to think about: How can they better contribute to the benefit of the citizens of the city in which they reside?
Think about it. When a traveler rents out a room in someone's home, they hand over money to the person who owns the home. That's grocery money. When a traveler stays at a hotel, the money, minus a room tax, doesn't go to the betterment of the city or its citizens. In the case of home rentals, both the rate and the occupancy tax are benefiting citizens. That's an aspect that has, without question, been a driving force behind the growing popularity of private rooms for rent.
Permits will be issued by Portland starting next week, and we're guessing many other cities are waiting with great anticipation to see how it all plays out. If it goes smoothly, it's possible we could see other cities, such as San Francisco, pass similar legislation.
There will always be a market for hotels, but oh how this completely changes the game.
[Screengrab: HotelChatter; Photo: Oregon Live]