This week, Tales of the Cocktail has penned an open letter encouraging thousands of attendees heading to the Big Easy in July to stay in hotels, rather than short term rentals, which are illegal in New Orleans.
The international cocktail conference takes place July 19-24, and has brought in millions of dollars for New Orleans tourist and hospitality industries in the sweltering month for the past decade— reportedly over $82 million from 2008 to 2014 alone. The conference relies on host hotels for its numerous events, so the following statement should be none too shocking:
Hotels are experienced in the practice of hospitality, and legally qualified to accommodate our guests, whereas short term rentals, which are illegal in New Orleans, fundamentally upset residential valuations by introducing unsustainable commercial valuations into residential neighborhoods.
The letter mentions one local bartender Rhiannon Enlil (of Erin Rose fame) who has just received an eviction notice from a landlord who is turning the apartment into a short term rental.
There are currently over 4,000 short term rentals in New Orleans. While they usually have cheaper rates than hotels and B&Bs, they don’t face the same taxes and regulations, and the City Planning Commission just deferred voting on how to legalize some, probably not all, of them.
Some folks are calling out TOTC for choosing a side in the heated political matter on Facebook, but others are happily embracing their main point, which is this:
Each short term rental takes revenue away from our own hospitality industry; if the hotels are operating below projected capacity, staff hours get cut, and employees get laid off.