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Hotel Group: Tighter Regulations For Airbnb Needed

An Airbnb listing in downtown Chicago

A report commissioned by a hotel lobby group will only intensify the growing rift between hoteliers and startup Airbnb. The report from Penn State researchers for the American Hotel and Lodging Association (which can be read here) determined that $378M of Airbnb's total revenuenearly 30%—was generated from "full-time operators" listing rentals year-round.

In Chicago, Airbnb's third-most-profitable domestic market, the numbers are even more striking. Airbnb listings that were offered at least six months out of a year generated 58.3% of the company's local revenue.

The report is being used by the hotel lobbyists to call for tighter regulations on Airbnb listings, while Airbnb says the report is incorrect and was wrong to focus only on operators with long-term listings.

The battle lines were being drawn in Chicago long before the report was released. Geller Investments chief Laurence Geller and Oxford Capital CEO John Rutledge told Bisnow last December that Airbnb was already siphoning reservations from hotels during high-compression dates, and envisioned Airbnb would eventually evolve to include select hotel rooms and be more like Expedia. Airbnb hired former Ald. Will Burns last February as its director of Midwest policy.