Last week's INDY cover story asked "Why is Raleigh Uptight About Airbnb's?" But where's the uptight-ness?
You offer only two slim examples: The owner of a traditional BnB, so she doesn't represent Raleigh very well. And local lobbyists who are presumably being paid to be uptight about Airbnb in Raleigh. They don't represent Raleigh very well, either.
On the other hand, 200 people packed a Town Hall Meeting in January to show support for Airbnb in Raleigh. And in your article we learn folks like Lynn Minges from the NC Restaurant and Lodging Association and Dennis Edwards from the Convention and Visitors Bureau aren't uptight about Airbnb in Raleigh, either. These are people and organizations that represent huge chunks of Raleigh and Raleigh business.
So a better question would probably be: "How Come Raleigh's in Love with Airbnb?"Here are just a few reasons why people in Raleigh love it:
1. Airbnb is essential when recruiting companies, particularly tech companies, to relocate to Raleigh.
2. Airbnb breeds entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship creates new jobs.
3. Airbnb can produce tax revenue.
4. With Airbnb, we can capture revenue and taxes lost to nearby cities from Raleigh's downtown hotel-room shortage.
Cities around the world are struggling with this issue. But we're better than that. So let's throw our full support behind Mary-Ann Baldwin and the rest of the City Council and work together to find an Airbnb solution that's perfect for Raleigh and also serves as the perfect plan for other cities, too.
Using Airbnb, we have the opportunity to show the world how Raleigh is, as our City Councilors proudly proclaim in their Mission Statement, setting the example for how a "21st Century City of Innovation" embraces change and gets things done. Let's do this. Let's do it now.
Gregg Stebben, Raleigh
Note: Mr. Stebben was featured in last week's article on Airbnb, "Get a Room,' Jan. 28