The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01364

Submission Number:
01364
Commenter:
Mary ROCKWELL
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
We learned of AirBnB in Bosnia in 2011 while traveling and looking for our next place to stay. We found many affordable selections in that part of the world. In 2013 we decided to rent one of our two empty bedrooms thru AirBnB for several reasons. 1) We are closing in on retirement and not comfortable with our future income and were wondering if it would be a viable boost. 2) We loved our own experiences and the effort our hosts put into showing us around and making our visits special, wherever we went, we loved that and wanted to do it too. 3) We wanted to help the many people who come to our area who cannot afford to stay a night (as I hear from my own family and their friends who live 3 hours away). 4) We realized later that we were bringing, although slightly, revenue to the small shops, restaurants, museums, groceries and service stations in our quite small community. We asked %100 of our first year guests, "How many of you would have come to our area and stayed a night or more if not for our AirBnB?" We are a few miles from Santa Cruz. The Answer? Zero!! Flat out. Not till we got more Americans and Californians coming for weddings and special events did we hear a 'Yes'. We now have two bedrooms on AirBnB. People meet each other in the hall and exchange travel information and contact information like we did in 2011. 6) Our AirBnB allowed us to replace our broken dishwasher last year and our leaky washing machine and non-functioning dryer this year.