In just a couple of weeks, Palm Springs voters will decide the fate of Measure C – which would restrict short-term vacation rentals in the city. As many locals seem to support the measure, a couple of large, out-of-town companies are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to vote it down.
Via the Desert Sun:
We Love Palm Springs, a group of short-term rental owners, hotel owners, real estate agents and other supporters of the vacation rental industry, received $100,000 from vacation rental listing site AirBnB and $200,000 from Expedia last week, according to campaign finance documents posted to the city of Palm Springs’ website Tuesday.
The group has raked in more than $660,000 since the beginning of the year, a mix of large donations from local and national vacation rental companies and smaller donations from residents of Palm Springs and other cities.
I guess this explains how they can afford to put those orange signs literally everywhere in the city and run TV commercials every five minutes. But hey, when you’re a huge company with unlimited resources looking to turn a town from a community of actual residents into a large swath of mini-hotels owned by out-of-town investors, why not?
Palm Springs Neighbors for Neighborhoods, the group that put Measure C on the ballot, has raised about $32,000 since the beginning of the year, according to campaign finance filings. Neighbors for Neighborhoods raised almost $50,000 in 2017, much of which was spent on the signature gathering efforts to put the measure to the voters.
And as if overcoming the financial disadvantage wasn’t enough, the Yes on C campaign also has the city itself distributing extremely misleading information about the measure – but, Palm Springs Neighbors for Neighborhoods Campaign Manager Rob Grimm believes the measure still has a chance of getting a yes vote.
“From the amount of money being put into this by the opposition and the enormous contribution by Expedia Corp. so close to the election date, it appears that these large investors are afraid the Measure will indeed pass.”