Airbnb blocked 11,000 house parties in Arizona in 2021

Daniel Tocora distinguishes between giving guests what they want and keeping the peace with neighbors when vacation renters want the whole house for a party.

Tocora founded Scottsdale-based AZ Getaway Rentals LLC in 2019 and rents properties in the Valley, Sedona and the Mexican border state of Sonora.

Some of its properties are also for rent on the global booking website Airbnb, which has clamped down on homes being rented out for parties during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly when the renter is under 25.

“I think all hosts would agree that they don’t want to be the ones throwing a party,” Tocora said.

Thousands of people in Arizona who are old enough to drink booze but don’t have a place to party have tried to rent entire homes over major vacations, but Airbnb has bragged they have them all stalled last year — 11,000 reservations statewide to be exact.

Tocora doesn’t know how many of its potential guests were barred from booking its rentals due to new Airbnb rules that screen guests before they show up based on the likelihood of them throwing a party on the property. Airbnb is a big company in the Valley.

There are over 5,300 Airbnb listings in Scottsdale alone, costing an average of $292 per night. Next month, the average cost of a rental in Scottsdale will climb to $320, more than double the national average, according to market analysts. More than 94% of listings in Scottsdale are for entire homes, not just rooms.

Tocora doesn’t view the new rules as so onerous that his business won’t thrive. It’s a service that Airbnb automatically rejects any last-minute “high-risk” rental enquiries, a standard its own company has already set for reservations. A property with security cameras or noise monitors is likely to deter potential raves, he noted.

“We really don’t want to bother any of the neighbors,” Tocora said, adding that nipping a party in the bud isn’t just about “the headaches” of fixing the mess or cleaning up.

The concept of not allowing parties has been a common practice used by local hoteliers for decades. Hospitality experts advise landlords not to rent rooms to people who live in the same city, as the room is likely to be ransacked during a loud party and guests won’t have to clean up by the wayside. following.

It’s no secret that people travel to Arizona to party.

At one time in 2002, Arizona State University was Playboy’s #1 party school in America.

Before the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, Lake Havasu billed itself as “the biggest Spring Break party in the West.”

Lake Havasu is over a three-hour drive from Phoenix, a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, and just under three hours from Las Vegas.

The demand for house parties has increased during the pandemic because there are usually more restrictions – such as masks or COVID-19 vaccine cards – when visiting entertainment venues, restaurants and clubs.

There is no shortage of places where revelers can congregate. Lake Pleasant Party Cove in Peoria is a hot spot for speedboats and bikinis on sunny days. Scottsdale’s Maya Dayclub provides partygoers with late-night or early-morning fun.

Airbnb began an indefinite ban on parties by young tenants in August 2020, citing a need for social distancing amid worsening public health conditions.

Prior to the Airbnb party ban, the vast majority of hosts were already banning parties, around 73% globally.

Airbnb canceled the most potential holidays on Independence Day, Halloween and New Year’s Eve, totaling 8,000 potential rentals in 2021.

“We think it worked,” Airbnb spokesperson Aaron Swor said in a recent email. These weekends were generally quiet and these initiatives were well received by our host community.

The blanket ban included innocent bookings where parties weren’t planned, but it was a “compromise we’re willing to make,” Swor said.

Phoenix was No. 6 on the list of places with “most blocked” properties for potential parties nationwide, even more than hubs like Las Vegas and Miami, according to Airbnb data.

Airbnb took its enforcement a step further by suspending 70 properties from listing on its website in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Sedona and Flagstaff in February 2021 for violating the rules.

That doesn’t mean all parties or noise complaints have died down. The issue is still contentious, especially in Scottsdale, which has enforced noise-limiting rules since 2019. But the city’s legal options are limited because state law prohibits any municipality from directly regulating short-term rentals. since 2016.

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