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New report outlining economic impact of short term rental restrictions met with mixed reviews

Both La Quinta and Palm Springs are currently considering adding more restrictions to some short term vacation rentals.

A new study shared by Visit Greater Palm Springs on the economic impact of restricting short term rentals is getting mixed reviews.

The findings were reported by Toursim Economics, an Oxford Economics company.

While cities like La Quinta and Palm Springs consider possible limits on short term rentals, some residents support them.

Kay Wolf, a volunteer with Neighbors for Neighborhoods of La Quinta says, "Across the valley, every city is having to go through this same kind of a struggle. They're trying to decide how many vacation rentals, how long can they stay."

Senior Director of Community Engagement at Visit Greater Palm Springs says the study looked into housing affordability.

"In a study that they reviewed and analyzed for this report, there was no significant impact from short term vacation rentals on housing affordability," says Meyer.

The report also looked into crime.

“It does actually look at crime and if it's related to short term vacation rentals and found no evidence that the two are correlated. So whether or not a community has short term vacation rentals does not appear to have any impact on crime," says Meyer.

We shared the findings with volunteers with Neighbors for Neighborhoods, a group advocating to restrict short term rentals in La Quinta.

John Guerrini, a volunteer with the organization says, "You first have to look at the source, the cities that are against this, they're obviously hiring consulting firms that do work for cities, and their job is to present numbers that will convince people to oppose these measures."

In response to Neighbors for Neighborhoods, Meyer with Visit Greater Palm Springs shared, “Toursim Economics is a well respected independent research firm. They have specialized knowledge of the travel space, hence their name. One thing I would note is that we do not ask for studies just to prove a result we’re looking for. We ask for unbiased analysis of data. It’s important to Visit Greater Palm Springs that our decisions are guided by the most accurate data and research possible."

Overall the study finds that communities that restrict short term vacation rentals see a loss in revenue.

"The study analyzed 10 communities that had short term vacation rental restrictions or bans in place for at least two years. And after two years, those communities lost about $377 million in visitor spending," says Meyer.

However Neighbors for Neighborhoods say the revenue can be made up.

"Simply because there's a loss of revenue doesn't lead to the inescapable conclusion, that it's a bad thing. Because what we get in return, we get our neighborhoods back, I get my neighbor back instead of, instead of a weekend visitor," says Guerrini.

You can read more about La Quinta's ballot measure A here. Along with Palm Spring's consideration to ban short term rentals in their upcoming city council meeting here.

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Bianca Ventura

Bianca Ventura joined KESQ News Channel 3 as a reporter in February 2022.


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