The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01185

Submission Number:
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Dear FTC and interested parties: I have used AirBnB as both a guest and a host in Colorado and in Pennsylvania, and am writing in its support. I became aware of AirBnB a few years ago from a sibling back east who knows my need to travel on a budget, particularly when visiting our elderly mother in Pennsylvania. Indeed, it has been important for those visits, as well as for my own income here Colorado. As a host, I am always onsite for my guests' visits. These are weekend visits, periodically throughout the year, yet that income has been very important in paying my mortgage in months when my independent contractor income was lower. In addition, its afforded me the opportunity to introduce people to the beautiful state of Colorado, not only as a host, but as a guest renting accommodations in some of the mountain tourist destinations for visiting friends which otherwise I would not have been able to afford. The safety features established by AirBnB are especially important to me. Getting to know the guests themselves through information provided in their profiles, as well as getting an idea of their conduct in other host homes, is critical to my peace of mind with the process. And as a guest myself on several occasions, it has helped me decide where I will stay. In one year, I have hosted guests from Maryland, Colorado, and Oregon, and it's been a safe and very pleasant experience for everyone. I have heard horror stories about investors who have purchased condos and the like in order to host through Airbnb, providing no supervision for guests, and subsequently creating a negative experience for neighbors. That is certainly not the case in my situation, nor has it been the case in the several times I've been a guest at host homes in Colorado and Pennsylvania. I hope this note of support for Airbnb helps you understand the importance of this service to us middle income Americans, particularly in more difficult economic times. I'm extremely thankful to live in a country where this type of entrepreneurship can thrive, supporting and encouraging its citizens. Sincerely and with thanks, CJ Evans