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Silent Recession, AirBnB and How It Affects Us

As you may see *gestures at everything* modern day living is a struggle. With prices going up for everything because of “inflation”, minimum wage still too low, CEO’s making never before seen profit income for the last few years, interest rate at another high, homelessness increasing, the environment being damaged and abused for big corps,  and people getting laid off, people are struggling. Because I am in the cleaning industry, I will stick to how this has affected this particular industry.

Before I jump into the issue, let me tell you about how many people make their income in the beautiful Summit County, CO. Summit County, CO is pretty much a mountain resort county, which includes Breckenridge, Keystone, Vail, Avon, Copper, Frisco, Silverthorne, Dillon, Eagle, and a few other towns that make some part of the county line, such as Montezuma and Carbondale. Most of the places I mentioned above rely on short-term vacation, property rental, and vacation rental. This is where a lot of the income comes from for its people.

Now AirBnB is known to a big part of the population. And everyone that uses it or owns it, gets some piece of the pie even when they have done zero work or those who do that most laborious work, everyone gets something. When using vacation rental companies, the internal users have to follow certain regulations as well as work with outside vendors (cleaning, maintenance, concierge to name a few), who also get a form of that pie -the crumbs. But because everyone is getting some piece from ONE pie that one person brought to the table, it’s quick pickings. No one talks about the dirty work. Housekeeping. The people who go in and clean up the place after the previous guests have left and leave the place looking nice, welcoming and presentable for the future guests.

These housekeepers have to make a living too. This is the ‘grunt’ work. Not complaining, just reeling in reality. You see, the cleaning is done for the upcoming guests, not the guests who have left. No one expects to come to some dirty, disgusting used rental unit with zero accommodations such as clean towels, clean sheets, soap, paper towel, etc. This, what a guest comes to, to cleanliness, to someone else’s labor. And it feels great! But, there is an issue. Potential guests often protest the 1) cleaning fees and 2) the rules posted which instruct the guests how to leave the place prior to checking out.

The issue: AirBnB, homeowners, and the vendors are at crossroads. In one platform, we get potential guests that think the pricing is unfair. The “I’m already picking up after myself and I still have to pay.” And then we have the housekeepers, who often times are relieved the dishes don’t have 3 day old food stuck on them, the trash isn’t piled up as though a dump struck just unloaded the trash there, and that the guests efforts have helped them save some form a time so they can scurry away to the next task. Let’s face it, any homeowner would be happy to know their place was not being treated like someone else’s toilet paper. So vacationers don’t want to pay set prices, and housekeepers, who put up their supplies, gas, mileage, insurance, time, energy, and appreciation for the work they are doing, want to get paid a little bit better. And the thing is, is that from the set prices, the housekeeper only gets a portion of that.

So remember the next time you go to vacation in Summit County, CO and you’ve booked your stay through AirBnB or some other rental agency, what you are paying for is worth it should you wish to arrive to a clean place, and don’t be mad at the cleaners for the prices. They aren’t getting all of that paid directly to them. Don’t forget who are truly profiting from all of this and who are getting the crumbs. We are at the bottom of the “trickle down economics”, and we too are *gestures at everything* struggling in modern day living. Happy Wednesday! Be loved, give love, do good, be good and be merry!

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