Take New York City. Thanks to web startups like Airbnb, it is possible to bunk for a night in a private residence. The median cost is $180, estimates Priceonomics, versus $245 for a room in a traditional hotel.
Of course, reports BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK, the New York hotel industry is angry and ready to us all the legal tools available to stop the rogue rental services.
The industry recently lost a round. One of Airbnb's clients who rents out his apartment for short stays Nigel Warren won his case. He had been fined for allowing someone to say without the owner present. But, it turns out, Warren's roommate was present. That fine has been tossed.
Airbnb and its competitiors such as OneFineStay could be game-changers in overnight and short stays. That could rock the Marriotts. They would either have to lower their rates or create a new kind of model which justifies those rates. For instance, full standard price could include complimentary dog-walking, child care, and psychic readings (no tipping allowed). That could free up the Leaning In woman to focus entirely on her business, with a sense of what could play out, thanks to the fortune-teller.
The legal challenge in the form of Warren could strengthen Airnb. It will be a whole lot more careful about imposing the local rules on the books about short stays.