PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Party starters watch out: Airbnb has released annual data on the company’s efforts to thwart unauthorized parties in Portland, and according to the report, the new policies blocked hundreds of potential bookings in the city that likes to “keep it weird.”
In a recent release, Airbnb stated the company implemented the party ban on its platform during the summer of 2020 in an effort to “prioritize public health in the early days of the pandemic as well as to try to prevent and defer community disruption and parties.”
To ensure the policy was enforced, Airbnb announced guests under the age of 25 without a positive review history could be restricted from booking ‘entire home’ stays within their surrounding neighborhoods.
However, the policy still allowed restricted users to secure private room listings, in which the host remains on the property.
According to the 2021 data, the ban had quite an impact on both Portland Airbnb guests and hosts.
“Today we can announce that in 2021, this ‘Under-25’” anti-party system blocked or redirected approximately 1,900 people in Portland from making local entire home bookings,” Airbnb stated.
Airbnb said they doubled down on anti-party policies during holiday weekends which generally garner more festivities, such as Halloween and New Years.
The company introduced an additional ban for event dates, which blocked guests without a positive review history from booking on one-night stays at entire home listings.
“We believe it worked,” the company stated. “Those weekends were generally quiet, and these initiatives were well-received by our Host community.”
According to the Airbnb report, over 550 Portland residents were impacted by the company’s anti-party policies during both the weekend of July 4th and the weekend of Halloween in 2021.
The data showed the number of blocked bookings rose to over 700 during New Year’s Eve.
The company acknowledged that many residents impacted by the ban, and new users in particular, simply did not have an opportunity to earn the positive reviews needed to book a stay.
“The great majority of guests treat their Hosts’ homes and neighbors with the utmost respect,” Airbnb stated. “These initiatives are about trying to find the needles in the haystacks and stop potentially disruptive parties in service to our Hosts and neighbors.”
While Airbnb acknowledged a large number of restricted guests likely did not intend to throw a party or create a disruption for hosts, the company said for now, “this is a tradeoff we’re willing to make in the interests of trust and safety.”