Can New Jersey Voters Save Airbnb? The Company Hopes So.
Jersey City passed a law threatening one of Airbnb’s lucrative markets. Instead of going to court, the company is trying to get the law onto a ballot.
By Nick Corasaniti
One of the most popular lodging choices for visitors to Manhattan is not actually in New York City. Just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, Airbnb and other home-sharing sites are booming, attracting travelers seeking less expensive places to stay.
Much of the growth is focused in Jersey City, a thriving community in Hudson County, which is among the top 30 revenue-generating counties in the nation for Airbnb hosts.
Now a recent law adopted by Jersey City limiting short-term rentals has made this flourishing market the latest front in the battle between Airbnb and public officials trying to find ways to impose rules on the home-sharing industry.
But unlike in other cities, such as in New York, where the company has gone to court to fight regulations, in Jersey City, Airbnb is trying a novel strategy: taking its case to voters.