Two years after a state law limited cities from regulating short-term rentals, Scottsdale may crack down on parties that become a nuisance.

A proposed ordinance will hold property owners accountable for repeated unruly gatherings or parties on their properties — including short-term rental owners.

The ordinance says that police officers and other city staff have been repeatedly called to complaints of disturbances as a result of unruly parties.

The city looked to Tempe’s nuisance party ordinance as an example, according to Planning and Development director Raun Keagy.

“There definitely has been an increase in the number of complaints that we have been receiving regarding parties, noise, nuisance activities over the last two years,” Keagy said.What are the penalties?

Under the proposed new rule, Scottsdale police could charge the tenants or homeowners for unruly parties, although the first call would likely be a warning, Keagy said.

After that, officers could begin writing fines:

  • $250 for the first response.
  • $1,000 for the second response.
  • $1,500 for the third response and each subsequent response.

“If they come out a second or third time in the same night and things are really out of control, then yes, you may be subject to an actual citation under the ordinance,” Keagy said.

If a tenant or short-term renter is having a party and police are called, police will also notify property owners that they’ve had to visit their property, Keagy said.

In this instance, either party can be cited at the discretion of the police officer.

“What we’re trying to do is hold the property owners responsible for the activities that are taking place on their properties,” Keagy said.

How will this be enforced?

In April, Keagy said the city was having difficulty citing short-term rental homeowners for occupancy levels that were in violation of the city’s code.

“There are rights to privacy and against illegal search and seizure. It’s extremely difficult to prove,” Keagy said at the time. “If we get a complaint, we send them a compliance notice that they can only have six and usually they’ll change their advertisement.”

But the city referenced Tempe’s unruly party ordinance.

“They’ve been doing this for quite a while,” Keagy said. “That’s why we looked at them and thought this would be a good way for us to approach this.”

Paradise Valley also has an unruly-gathering ordinance that code-enforcement officers and police reference when called out to rental properties that are getting out of control, according to Dawn Marie Buckland, deputy town manager for Paradise Valley.

Scottsdale first began noticing a spike in complaints about noisy parties with 2015’s Super Bowl, Keagy says. Beyond that, complaints typically accompany the influx of out-of-state visitors that come the Valley with events like Barrett-Jackson and spring training.

In May, the state clarified its short-term rental law, including allowing cities and towns to prohibit gatherings like weddings at short-term rentals.

Keagy said the move made Scottsdale more comfortable that an unruly party ordinance would be enforceable across the board, whether for a short-term rental or otherwise.

“This is for everybody that’s out there,” Keagy said. “We’re not running afoul of the state law.”



US: San Francisco-based apartment operator Sonder has raised $225 million in a fourth round of private equity funding, with estimations valuing the company’s investment at about $1 billion.

The investment has been led by Valor Equity, Westcap and Nicolas Pritzker’s Tao Capital Partners, with participation from Fidelity, Atreides Capital, ARod Corp, Spark Capital, Inovia Capital and Greenoaks Capital.

The company says it has tripled the number of available units to rent on its platform since last year, with more than 8,500 spaces in 20 cities being listed. On top of that, it expects to reach a $400 million revenue run rate by the end of the year, marking a period of accelerated growth in recent years.

In a statement, Sonder co-founder and CEO, Francis Davidson, said: “The future of hospitality will be dynamic, and it will demand flexibility. That’s what our diverse, unique and adventure-seeking world is like too.

“That’s why, while our spaces will continue to take on new forms and expand to exciting neighbourhoods around the world, a Sonder will always be unforgettable,” he added.

Sonder also raised $135 million in a funding round last year and it offers stays lasting between one night and two years in furnished spaces with hotel-like quality facilities and amenities.

The firm, which debuted in Chicago in 2015, operates using a “dynamic pricing” model and current checks suggest one- to three-bedrooms are listed between $135 to $265 per night.

Competing with companies such as Stay Alfred and Lyric in an ever-evolving lodging industry, Sonder believes it caters to travellers’ desires for hotel-like quality and facilities like a fully-equipped kitchen and washers and dryers.

Susan Tjarksen, managing director of capital markets for real-estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, explained to Chicago Sun Times that that trend was set to continue.

She said: “A lot of today’s apartment buildings have become so much more like hotels in terms of services or amenities. They have rooftop decks, pools, spa rooms and lobbies with coffee shops.

“For the landlord, assigning some units to Sonder or a similar operation also can greatly increase their income compared with what they can get from a monthly renter,” Tjarksen added.

The accommodation operator is furthermore preparing to grow its product line in Chicago by adding space in two downtown properties.

It says it will provide 92 units in the new Essex on the Park high-rise building at 808 S. Michigan Ave. and 48 units in a vintage building at 330 S. Wells.

They will supplement the 130 units that Sonder already lists for short-term rentals in Chicago, which are mainly in neighbourhoods like Lincoln Park and Bucktown.

Sonder has signed a long-term lease for each space and is responsible for keeping on top of the furnishings and maintenance for both.

Chicago-based general manager Ellen Schulz told Chicago Sun Times: “We don’t offer just one cookie-cutter experience for our guests. The type of hospitality product we offer is cutting-edge, and where people want to be,” she said.

Schulz said Sonder would try to lease full floors in a building when possible to separate its guests from full-time residents, in case of noise issues and potential disturbances. The company will also perform criminal background checks on prospective lodgers in certain locations.

The new units at 808 S. Michigan are expected to be available at the end of the month, while those at 330 S. Wells St. are scheduled for a September opening.

For more information, visit the Sonder website here.


This post covers fun, interesting, and unique news from June 2019.

Airbnb Adventures: Search for UFOs, track lions with Airbnb

Unlike Airbnb Experiences which is stale and not exciting, as soon as I saw the Airbnb Adventures marketing campaign, I liked it. Essentially, you don’t need travel agents anymore. Everything is being brought in house at Airbnb and these trips are actually cool and unique.

For example, you can go around the world in 80 days for just $5K.

Let’s say I want to go on a safari in Africa. I have a few options:

  1. I can contact a travel agent and hope they’re good
  2. I can do a ton of research on my own
  3. I can use Airbnb Adventures

That’s a clear winner because nothing else exists exactly like Airbnb Adventures while a lot already exists for Airbnb Experiences which is just a copycat service.

Here is the official announcement about Airbnb Adventures.

You know it will be a giant success when the only criticism is that the price will be much higher than expected due to….the cost of the flight to get to the beginning destination. Hah! I predict: success.


Airbnb IPO: your guide to one of the most awaited IPOs of the year

This is a really great summary article of where Airbnb came from and about their IPO potential. Be sure to get in on the action as soon as you can!

Airbnb offers $24 tours of its company headquarters

It seems like an eternity when I worked at this office. It’s the coolest office I’ve ever seen.

If you’re a host in SF, be sure to offer it to your guests’. They can choose from a day-time or night-time tour of the Airbnb office with dinner option.


Although the division between “traditional” and “alternative” lodging might be clear to consumers, the lines are becoming less clear behind the scenes.

In 2018, Airbnb represented 5.5% of total U.S. lodging demand. That might not sound like much, but it represents a steady year-over-year increase in overall market share.

A Love/Hate Relationship

The rise in popularity of private accommodation platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway have presented opportunities as well as challenges for hotels.

On one hand, hotels gain access to a new generation of tech-savvy travelers who value convenience and unique experiences over brand loyalty.

On the other hand, by playing the role of Online Travel Agents (OTAs), these platforms take away revenue in the form of fees and commissions. Additionally, because the booking occurs in an environment completely separate from the hotel, it makes it impossible for hotels to own their guests’ experiences end-to-end.

Diverging Reactions Among Hotel Companies

Early on, Accor and Hyatt recognized the economic opportunity in consumers’ appetite for private accommodations, such as vacation rentals. However, they struggled to make the new kind of accommodations work within their portfolios.

The lodging industry is being forced to evolve because of advancing technology and changing guest expectations. Hotel companies know that fighting home sharing is a losing battle. Some have failed to take the time to fully understand the nuances between hotels and vacation rentals—and what drives travelers to choose one over the other. —Scott Shatford, CEO and Co-Founder at AirDNA

Last year, Marriott joined the ring when they launched a London-based pilot home sharing program with Hostmaker. Marriott’s ability to leverage partnerships enabled them to build expertise and offload some aspects of day-to-day management. The pilot ultimately proved successful, with Marriott officially launching its own home sharing initiative just a year later. Several vacation rental property management companies, such as TurnKey Vacation Rentals, LaCure, and Veeve, have been named as partners in Marriott’s expansion into home sharing.

Others have seen the rise of home sharing as a threat and have tried to combat its expansion via negative ad campaigns and legislative lobbying for tougher restrictions against the likes of Airbnb. These efforts have had little—if any—impact to curtail growth.

Just as many hoteliers have embraced alternative lodging, alternative lodging has begun to embrace traditional lodging.

Per AirDNA’s data, hotels currently represent just under 2% of Airbnb and HomeAway listings in the U.S., but that is also expected to grow. Earlier this year, Airbnb acquired HotelTonight, which squarely puts them in the traditional lodging game.

Fresh Competition for Airbnb and

In recent weeks, and Airbnb have faced off in a battle to attract hotels and resorts to their listing websites. got its start as a place to aggregate hotel options for guests and is currently the second largest source of accommodations in the world — after Expedia — with approximately 30 million listings. has made a push to onboard private accommodation options to its portfolio, including serviced apartments and vacation rentals.

Airbnb is currently the third largest source for accommodations, with approximately 6 million listings and conversely got its start helping homeowners rent out their rooms and homes to guests looking for bargains and/or unique experiences.

Just a week after announced it would begin collecting commissions on top of resort fees and other fees collected by hotels, Airbnb announced it would waive guest fees for hotels that use their service as a distribution channel. This was no doubt an opportunistic move to bolster their usership ahead of their planned IPO.

What This Means for Accommodations Providers

We expect the presence of hotels on, Airbnb, and other historically home share-focused platforms to grow, as they work to recruit more hotel rooms onto their sites.

For vacation rental hosts and property managers, this means increased competition from sophisticated competitors.

Hotels have the knowledge, experience, and resources to implement comprehensive pricing and marketing strategies. This will no doubt help them navigate a new but familiar landscape.

Ultimately, we see the blurring of lines as an opportunity for increased professionalism within private accommodation. The transfer of knowledge and the expansion of advocacy across different types of lodging should create opportunities for business and better experiences for guests.

How to Stay Competitive: Market Intelligence

There’s plenty that hoteliers, destination marketing organizations, vacation rental hosts, and property managers can do to stay competitive. Here are some tips and tools to help you stay one step ahead of the rest.

Hoteliers and Destination Marketing Organizations

Holistic Lodging Data

  • Most hotel and tourism companies already receive monthly hotel performance reports. The growth of vacation rentals means that increasingly, hotel data only tell part of the overall lodging story. For a truer and more holistic view, hotel and tourism companies need to incorporate vacation rental data into their competitive market analysis—both historic and forward looking. Get Sample Vacation Rental Data Reports

Vacation Rental Hosts and Property Managers

Predictive Pricing

  • MarketMinder’s Future Rates tool generates daily forward-looking pricing recommendations. For the best recommendations, you’ll need to know which market-wide percentile your rental belongs in.

Marketing and Management

  • Understand historic seasonality trends in your market, and how it impacts future pricing trends
  • Know how far in advance guests are booking vacation rentals in your area. Use this insight to tailor messaging, such as listing title and description to match the season and major events prospective guests are interested in
  • Consider details, such as your cancellation policy, and how they might be affecting potential bookings and your bottom line
  • Plan early for major events that are happening in your area. Pricing will depend heavily on relative supply and demand shifts leading up to compression events
  • Implement a channel management strategy that includes listing your rental on more than one listing platform