Louisville Should Protect Homeowners, Not Big Hotels

Every year around 150,000 people descend upon Louisville for the Derby. While many stay in hotels, there aren’t too many options. Worse, those hotel-room prices go through the roof in May — jumping to nearly $600/night (they’re only about $70 right now).

One of the best checks on hotels being able to bilk travelers around race time is the presence of short-term rentals like HomeAway and Airbnb. This means that travelers have more money to spend with Louisville stores and restaurants, not on big hotel rents.

At the same time short-term rental services provide Louisville residents the opportunity to earn income from their property. This includes family homes bequeathed to Louisville residents have when a loved-one dies, kept in the family but not a primary residency.

In essence, short-term rentals benefit Louisville residents and Louisville stores. The only non-beneficiaries are the big hotel chains who can’t rent rooms at an even more exorbitant price.

That’s why the big-hotels are trying to push through a city bill to cut down on citizen’s ability to use their homes how they want. The vote scheduled for Thursday could send home-owners back while advancing big hotel companies like Marriott and Hilton.

Here’s hoping the Louisville City Council puts citizens ahead of big hotel chains and chooses not to advance this property-right sapping legislation. Because if this bill passes, there’ll be less money in residents pockets and the big hotels will be the ones taking home the purse.