Desert Sun: Palm Springs is three months from a vote on vacation rentals and the campaign is heating up

Palm Springs is 13 weeks from a vote that will finally resolve the city’s years-long fight over short-term vacation rentals, and campaigns supporting and opposing the ballot initiative—Measure C—are reaching out to voters to drum up support and, of course, money...

...A group branding itself “We Love Palm Springs,” made up of members of the vacation rental industry and residents who own rental homes or support short-term rentals, kicked off a campaign opposing the anti-rental initiative on Tuesday in downtown Palm Springs.

The group already has backing from local organizations with deep pockets, including the city chamber of commerce and realtors and builders associations, and could draw financial support from national organizations such as Airbnb and HomeAway.

Representatives of the vacation rental companies spoke out against limiting short-term rentals at city council meetings and a representative of HomeAway, Jeremy Ogul, is involved with the group.

Aftab Dada, president of the Palm Springs Hospitality Association, said the measure would have a negative impact on the city’s economy and could affect funding for Palm Springs’ police and fire services. He said vacation rentals worked in concert with other portions of the city’s tourism-centric economy for an overall benefit to the desert town.

“This industry is a complementary industry to our hotel industry,” Dada, who also manages the Hilton, said.

Bruce Hoban, co-chair of "We Love Palm Springs" and co-founder of Vacation Rental Owners and Neighbors of Palm Springs, asked how those opposed to short-term rentals planned to replace the revenue that will be lost from the local economy.

“It is set up as a limit on vacation rentals,” he said. “I’m here to tell you it’s not a limit. It’s a ban.”

Hoban said Palm Springs already had strict regulations on the industry, where were being enforced by the city’s vacation rental compliance department...

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