Internet-based short-term rental companies such as Airbnb have built a burgeoning industry connecting homeowners with vacationers, who rent out rooms or entire houses for short-term stays. It’s a fascinating example of the New Economy, but this new business model has run up against stiffer opposition than expected.

On January 27th, 2017, the R Street Institute and the Orange County Register sponsored a panel discussion and breakfast with some key local thought leaders.


Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait led the charge for his city’s new laws banning short-term rental houses in residential neighborhoods. They are still allowed in commercial areas and people are still free to engage in room sharing, where they rent out a room while they are home. Tait is a well-known property-rights advocate, so it will be fascinating to hear how he came to his current viewpoint.

Andrew Moylan is executive director of the R Street Institute, where he authored the Room Score Index evaluating local short-term-rental regulations and grading various cities across the country on their hospitality to these new hospitality industries. He is a supporter of STRs.

Brian Calle is the Southern California News Group’s Opinion Editor, where he oversees the editorial board and opinion content at its 11 daily newspapers and websites, including the Orange County Register. His team has looked closely at the impact of STRs and their regulations in various Southern California cities.

Will Swaim is president of the California Public Policy Center. Based in Tustin, the group is an educational nonprofit focused on how to improve California’s democracy and economy. Swaim was the founding publisher of OC Weekly and someone with a long background reporting on local-governance issues.

Moderator – Steven Greenhut is Western region director for the R Street Institute, which promotes free-market solutions to governance problems. R Street is based in Washington, D.C., and Greenhut heads up its western office in Sacramento. He writes columns for the Register and other publications.