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Airbnb takes a more conciliatory approach to communities

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This illustration picture taken on July 24, 2019 in Paris shows the logo of the US online booking homes application Airbnb on the screen of a tablet.

Airbnb announced an extension of its ban on house parties this week. Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

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Airbnb reports its earnings later on Thursday. The short-term rental platform announced this week it would be extending what it calls a “ban” on house parties — basically, if you don’t have a good rating, you can’t book an entire house for just one night.

It’s the company’s latest effort to make good with neighbors. And regulators.

Keggers next door weren’t the big issue in Truckee, a small mountain town on the California side of Lake Tahoe. Instead, it was “things like weddings or receptions,” said David Polivy, a Truckee City Council member.

The pandemic — and all the Airbnb tourists it produced — helped speed new regulations on noise and trash, per Polivy.

“The extreme tourism pressures that cities like us really saw did provide us political cover to sort of do what we wanted to do anyway,” he said.

While, in the past, Airbnb might have fought those regulations in court, it’s taken a gentler approach in recent years.

“Their sentiments towards government has changed from confronting to collaboration,” said Karen Xie, who researches short-term rentals at the University of Denver.

One example: Airbnb has been sharing more of its data with cities that may be looking to boost the local tourism industry.

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