“We’ve had groups contact us, small wedding parties that will say, ‘We decided to use a couple of (vacation rentals by owner) instead of staying at the hotel,’” Walker said. “I think sometimes they can price themselves a little cheaper than we can because they don’t have to do as many things as we have to do. But we haven’t seen the big impact here. I’m sure the biggest cities probably have a bigger impact.”
Walker anticipates the vacation rentals by owner model of lodging will continue to grow. They don’t mind the competition, he said, if its done on an even playing field. Many private lodging options, including private homes, vacation homes and individual rooms, aren’t regulated the same way a hotel is, Walker said.
“They can open up a ‘hotel’ overnight, just by calling the Airbnb or VRBO and saying, ‘I want to start renting my room.’ They don’t have to go through any licensing or have to be inspected by the state for safety or security or health or anything like that, where hotels have to go through all that,” he said. “… You just open up the doors and start operating. We feel like in our industry, […]