July 25, 2017

Guest column: We should root for homesharing in Knoxville

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Imagine a crisp, cool October Saturday, and as the Vols run through the famed T, more than 100,000 fans roar to life. After the game – hopefully a win – many of those fans who live outside Knoxville will return to their Airbnb or VRBO rental nearby.

Services like Airbnb or VRBO are win-win propositions for Knoxvillians. Homesharing allows homeowners to make a little extra money and at the same time thousands of visitors each year have an affordable alternative to hotels. This is especially helpful during football season when hotel rates rise dramatically and a room must be booked months in advance. With homesharing, fans from all over the state can stay near the action and add to the local economy.

Homesharing has proven to boost local economies. A recent study showed that in Nashville alone, homesharing has generated $477 million in economic impact and produced more than 5,400 new jobs. This is a win for families wanting to open their homes to others, for the visitors to cities who want an affordable, convenient alternative to hotels, and the local economy as a whole.

Unfortunately, Knoxville officials may upend all that. A pending proposal before the City Council would severely limit […]

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