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Check-in desk, common areas, cleaning services… it’s a hotel.
The peer-to-peer rental site is partnering with Miami-based real estate firm Newgard Development Group to open a “Niido powered by Airbnb”-branded building in Kissimmee, Florida. Guests will be checked in at a front desk by a “MasterHost” and have access to shared services and common areas, like a gym and pool. There will even be cleaning and linen services.
If you think this sounds a lot like a hotel, then you’re not alone. People have taken to social media to point out the similarities, mocking Airbnb for touting its upcoming “apartments” as a new, innovative idea.
This is a hotel. You're building a hotel. https://t.co/A1Ud3AqURa
— Asher Wolf (@Asher_Wolf) October 13, 2017
— Erin Turner (@ErinLTurner) October 13, 2017
Serviced apartments is a fancy title for a hotel with a kitchenette.
— Dave Hall (@skwashd) October 13, 2017
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) October 12, 2017
My mum once invented the motorbike: "Imagine if you could get bicycles but they had engines, like cars. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"
— Alice Ralph (@alicaurusrex) October 12, 2017
Thats… That's just a fancy way of saying "weird hotel," right?
— Breaking Meows (@BreakingMeows) October 12, 2017
One Twitter user likened it to when Lyft said it was reinventing the “city bus.”
This reminds me of that time that Lyft "invented" the city bus
— Sean White (@SpyroRyder) October 13, 2017
Others say it’s using an “apartment” to skirt city regulations.
This makes sense in cities where Airbnb is technically banned like NYC.
— hack🕴️2019 (@hacklaw) October 13, 2017
Tax/zoning/regulation law issues, I assume.
— Just Some Guy (@jeremylatzke) October 13, 2017
It’s important to note the few differences between Airbnb’s apartment and a hotel. Tenants will be able to sublet their space for up to 180 days a year and can manage their guest’s stay using an app. There is also a unique financial component, with Newgard receiving 25 percent of a nightly room rate, Airbnb will net 3 percent (the same it gets for regular listings), and the tenant will get what’s left.
Newgard is currently working with Airbnb on five more “apartments” and wants to build two thousand more Airbnb-branded units in the next two years.
Phillip Tracy is a former technology staff writer at the Daily Dot. He's an expert on smartphones, social media trends, and gadgets. He previously reported on IoT and telecom for RCR Wireless News and contributed to NewBay Media magazine. He now writes for Laptop magazine.