Pa. hotel owners want even playing field with shared-space services

Listen
Brian Chesky is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. Some Pennsylvania hotel and bed and breakfast owners are taking aim at Airbnb

Brian Chesky is the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb. Some Pennsylvania hotel and bed and breakfast owners are taking aim at Airbnb

Pennsylvania hotel and bed and breakfast owners are taking aim at Airbnb, saying the home-sharing service is being used by people who are actually running illegal hotels.  

Dee Fegan, who runs the 30 Timber Road B&B in Mechanicsburg, said anyone who rents a bed should be on the same playing field.

“The fact is hotels and small bed and breakfasts like mine are required to comply with extensive ordinances and follow rules and regulations,” she said.

An analysis commissioned by the Pennsylvania Hotel and Lodging Association found that one quarter of Airbnb revenue in Philadelphia is generated by people offering rooms year-round, not just once in a while.  Association president John Longstreet said that’s unfair.

“There’s a clear difference between those who operate in the spirit of the shared economy and the number of corporate landlords and hoteliers who use Airbnb to run hotels out of residential units,” he said.

Philadelphia law requires having a permit to rent a room more than 90 days a year.

An Airbnb representative did not respond to a request for comment.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.