21 thoughts on “The Rise of Airbnb in San Antonio

  1. You might mention that hosts are required to pay 16.75% city room tax for any stay less than 30 days airbnb does not facilitate that part of the transaction. A lot of hosts are not aware of this and risk getting hit with a big tax bill when the city finds out.

    • If you review the city and Bexar county website, they have explicit guidelines for the definition of occupancy and NOWHERE does it mention a 16.75% city room tax. There is a nearly 9% occupancy tax for city of SA and around a 1% tax for Bexar county. Also you should check your references before posting these types of comments, as those who are homeowners or business owners could have different taxing implications than those who are sole proprietors or listing for less than a certain term.

  2. Rather than regulate away these companies, cities might ask why consumers gravitate toward them. For me, I have grown tired of cities piling on tourist taxes and fees on hotel rooms. Financing your city on the backs of tourists is not good business. Don’t be surprised when consumers look for alternatives.

    • Cities use taxes on visitor related commerce like hotels and car rentals to maintain visitor related activities. These are called HOT (Hotel Occupancy Tax) funds and they are very limited in there uses. HOT funds can only spent on tourist industries – the convention center upgrades in SATX are being funded largely through the fund as is maintenance of the River Walk – both are used far more by visitors than locals so it only makes sense that they pay for their upkeep. Travel is expensive and its costs are far greater than air fare, a room, and a margarita. There is no need for a city’s residents to suffer at the expense of tourism.

      In regards to price, $134 for an $85 room isn’t really cheaper than a hotel. AirBnB is certainly assessing their own share of fees. Not that it is a bad thing – as a business they are driven by their need for profits and growth – just as hotels are. There are plenty of rooms in the city at comparable prices though. AirBnB sells an experience, not a discount.

  3. Used this for the first time in NOLA. It was an amazing experience. Yes it was scary, but being open to a new experience pushes your normative thinking.

  4. Millennial innovations need to be met with public policies by millennials. At the very least open minded politicians. As the consumer I should have options, beyond the norm!

  5. Guess what happens when your AirBnB renter burns down your house and your insurance finds out you’ve been running a hotel.

  6. Articles like this highlight the ignorance of the author and Rivard Report in general. In an attempt to drum up controversial content to pay their bills and feel they’ve explored some deep facet to share with their readers, they fail to understand the unintended consequences of their actions.

    I see no noteworthy evidence here to suggest the city is trying to regulate the site. Did the author speak to any city officials? Did she manage to offer any more compelling evidence for a need for this article other than that the company “may soon find itself challenged in San Antonio”? No and no. Shallow work by a freelance “reporter”.

    If the city turns to regulate the site after this article, I think we know who we have to thank..

  7. We used airbnb for a three-week tour of northeastern Spain. Fabulous experience. Great value. Averaged less than $100 per night and had laundry facilities at our disposal in every apartment and a truly local neighborhood to explore in each city. Made it easy to travel very light and experience a more authentic version of life there.

  8. We used airbnb for a three-week tour of northeastern Spain. Fabulous experience. Great value. Averaged less than $100 per night and had laundry facilities at our disposal in every apartment and a truly local neighborhood to explore in each city. Made it easy to travel very light and experience a more authentic version of life there.

  9. Saying an industry should disappear because we don’t have insurance or regulatory solutions for them at the moment is the worst kind of nimby myopia. Encourage disruption and innovation, create products and regulatory frameworks to support new business models and increase public and private revenue streams simultaneously. Pushing back against these trends is more costly for everyone.

  10. You will have to educate the progressive light ears what those letters mean. Then in five years offer those still with us a very short quiz with boxes to check. If there is understanding we should be able to discuss. That’s not likely. Remove your dinosaurs and holler please, we want to live here now.

  11. I’m in Chicago now, visiting family, and we’ve used Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. I use them every time we travel, and love them! I think a fair and open market is a great thing for consumers – I use these services because they are affordable and provide options normally not given with larger companies.

  12. Renters need to be aware they are probably violating their lease if they offer their apartments on airbnb. I was not happy when my neighbor had his apartment listed. I certainly didn’t want to share my security door with strangers. And when a group of “guests” kept me awake all night and then told me I had no right to expect quiet living at Pearl, that was the end of that. His lease was quickly terminated.

    • I’ll preface, do not take this comment personally.

      A good Airbnb host would check their references, inquire about the guests nature of stay, and communicate to them the ground rules for staying. This seems like something that could have been discussed directly with this neighbor. There may be implications with someone’s leasing terms, however, their business is their business…… not yours. If the noise is bothersome you may want to consider a place where you won’t hear as much noise like renting a home that doesn’t have neighboring walls. The city life is loud and noise in an apartment within a complex it is to be expected, whether they are Airbnb guests or not. Residential noise complaints in any inner city around the globe, 3rd world or not, is a bit over the top.

      To address the concern for security, living at the pearl requires one to have renters insurance to address incidents that could ever happen. Also, the Pearl has such heavy foot traffic from drunken patrons from surrounding bars, jitter-craving busy bees from the coffee shops, to the wondering curious strangers at the farmers market that one’s expectations for security is merely a muse which reads “unrealistic” and “un-adaptable” in the objective eyes. It’s not like piggybacking, fence hopping, or outright social engineering are in the path of extinction anytime soon.

      The implications of those actions can also discourage locals from listing a space, even short term, and encourages the monopolization of (possibly) overpriced hotels by unfairly reducing the supply in the market, making the order of economics benefit the bigger business. Maybe someone wants a host to welcome them to town, provide a full kitchen, and make them feel at home. Is subletting really is that big of an issue? It’s win-win situation for both parties. Landlord wants the security of having steady income while the renter is willing to take on the risk of the side venture. Philosophically, it seems like an outdated legislation that should be reconsidered. If San Antonio wants to put itself on the map, retain talent, they should foster change and cater to the generation of a sharing society. Whatever happened to the American dream of land, freedom, and opportunity? Keep shunning out small business and we will find ourselves in an even larger disparity.

      Back to the original discussion, a truly savvy, tactical, and politically correct neighbor with courage and grace would befriend the annoying neighbor and settle their differences directly before running to a landlord, let alone a big multi-million dollar company/corporation whose primary interests are to generate income by occupying units, do the minimum to address complaints in the interest of reducing their own liability, and stay in compliance with the laws. Kill them with kindness as they say!

      Conflict or friction are usually not very good long term solutions to trivial problems like noise or an even more deeply rooted issue like the territorial nature or insecurity of an individual.

      Again, this comment is not intended to target any individual specifically, rather, help shed some light and perspective.

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