The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00344

Submission Number:
Courtney Donnelly
New Jersey
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Airbnb is wonderful! It allows us to supplement some income to help with our vacation homes mortgage which was a great investment ( just a little out of reach for us at the moment), increases tourism in the small town and allows us to travel with kids more comfortably and less expensively. To me it's what capitalism is all about. Airbnb is an example of being able to take something into your own hands and make a living with what you have got! They have helped people come together, earn extra money, travel and experience the country and world and become entrepreneurs big and small. My husband and I love hosting and traveling. One of our favorite places is the Mad River Valley in Waitsfield, VT. My husband grew up skiing there in the winters as a kid and then introduced me to the valley when we first started dating. We were later married there and that's even where we found out we were expecting our first baby. It's one of those magical places that lets us unwind and escape. We had been dreaming of owning a piece of the Valley for years when we found a wonderful farmhouse built in 1829. At the time it was actually far from wonderful. It was in major disrepair, but was on a beautiful lot with one of the best swimming holes in the area and had wonderful deep roots in the valley as one of the first farms to be settled. With a vision and a ton of hard work and love we renovated this old home from top to bottom allowing it to shine once again. But without being able to rent it out through airbnb we could never have afforded to do this and this 275 yr old farmhouse would be nothing but lost history. Now with the help of Airbnb we have been able to share this magical place and our home with others...something we love to do. With two small children under two we don't have much time to travel like we once did or even get up to VT as much. But knowing that other people are able to enjoy such a wonderful area by staying in our home away from home and that there are so many others out there willing to do the same...makes us feel inspired. It helps the small ski area and its local businesses stay in business and get people up to VT in the off season. When you visit someone through airbnb you feel more like a local than a tourist and see the area in a different light. Hotels are great don't get me wrong, but being able to meet locals and stay in a cozy home or visit somewhere you otherwise couldn't afford to is wonderful. Just like companies such as ebay, etsy or uber have done they let people earn a little extra money without the middle man.