The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00374

Submission Number:
Roman Herrera
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Pleasure to have the opportunity to tell my story. I personally live in my full time residence in (LA area ) Granada Hills, CA and have for over a decade. On the advice of a friend I purchased a condo in Palm Springs with the specific intent to put it on airbnb. It would also serve as my vacation home since it is only a 2 hour drive from LA. This 2nd home in Palm Springs I not only pay taxes on, but had to fill with furniture and decor bought locally in Palm Springs. Since my unit is ample in space, I tend to rent to groups of 6 to 10. I noticed a pattern that is not necessarily specific to me and my unit. My visitors are not those who would be seeking 1 Hotel Room they are those who's options would be several hotel rooms or to not come at all to Palm Springs based on the price of several hotel rooms. And of those 2 choices I feel confident the choice would be not to come to Palm Springs at all. Just recently my guest have been teachers, students and a lot of families, most recently for mothers day with children and grandchildren in tow. Though I provide a very nice place and nicely appointed I do not have the amenities that a hotel would provide. Well guess who does, The Riviera Hotel just a few hundred yards away. My guest spend a lot of time at the restaurants, bars and pools of local restaurants. And there have been a few weekends in which local hotels have all been sold out, but they have stayed with me and still spent their hard earned money at local establishments of all kinds including hotels. I personally have planned weekends to Palm Springs with friends and had a request for bookings of my unit. I being usually just myself and my girlfriend or another buddy often relinquish my Unit to these visitors who need the space more then I do and I book a hotel room locally in Palm Springs. Everyone truly wins. I did have a Las Vegas Condo also but I recently sold that property which was hemorrhaging money and I simply could not afford it any more, it was unrentable in any capacity due to strict HOA rules. I owned Las Vegas property before my discovery of Airbnb, if Airbnb was allowed by my HOA I would have saved my Las Vegas home and not have had to sell it. Well I just in the last few months bought a 2nd property in Palm Springs. I am currently spending a small fortune(to me) remodeling it and decorating it and it will soon be available. I could not own either of these properties in Palm Springs if it wasn't for airbnb. I now pay property tax on two properties in Palm Springs for homes I would not own for any other reason. I visit and spend more of my money in Palm Springs while I'm there. Due to no internal amenities my guest spend their money throughout the establishments of Palm Springs, shopping, bars, restaurants and even hotels. Palm Springs as a city has benefitted in both the taxes I pay and the money my guest spend. And lets not forget the money I continue spending when I visit and when I decorate and the local people I employ to do this work in the condos. I have since recommended my friend Michelle to do the same which she has. But Michelle ended up liking her unit so much she became a full time resident of Palm Springs and only rents it when she goes on vacation or travels to Boston to visit her family. Well that's my story, hope you enjoyed it. thank you, Andrew