Guest Opinion | Christian Rodgers: Home Sharing Brings Economic Opportunities to Pasadena

Published : Monday, October 2, 2017 | 9:41 AM

The City of Pasadena is not a secret. Each year, the Tournament of Roses Parade and events at the Rose Bowl–the 11th largest stadium in the country–attract tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world to our city.

When it comes to staying the night however, Pasadena often loses tourists to its neighboring communities, missing out on valuable tax dollars and economic activity that would benefit the city its residents and small businesses.

In order to attract more overnight guests, the City should provide as many lodging options as possible, and not place limits on home sharing. Pasadena’s hotels can be out of the price range of many travelers and, during large events, are often booked to capacity. Home sharing provides visitors with accommodations for a wide range of budgets, with amenities–like a kitchen, multiple bedrooms, free parking, and wifi–that are especially important for traveling families.

Unlike Santa Monica or Hollywood, with a saturation of hotels and attractions, Pasadena cannot afford to turn away tourists. The potential revenue from taxing short-term rentals can go to funding important city services like trimming trees, removing trees and public safety. Also, the money guests spend in our neighborhoods can help support new small businesses and keep the doors open for mom and pop shops that have been in community for years.

In addition to funding city services and supporting small businesses, home sharing provides a direct economic benefit to Pasadena families like my own.

My wife and I began sharing our home through Airbnb just over a year ago. After we had twins, we began to outgrow the small two-bedroom house we purchased when we got married. While we knew that we needed to move into larger place, we saw the investment in our first home as important to our growing family’s financial future and could not afford to give it up.

Home sharing gave us the opportunity to earn money from our biggest asset, our home, and afford to continue to live in Pasadena.

The Pasadena City Council must have a very good reason if they are going to restrict this opportunity to benefit from the shared economy. As they consider rules to regulate short-term rentals, they should be open to business-friendly policies that support innovation, encourage tourism, and promote economic growth.

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