March 9, 2018

Ellsworth, Bar Harbor among most profitable Airbnb spots statewide

Ellsworth and Bar Harbor were among the top five busiest and most profitable Airbnb destinations statewide in 2017, with revenue up 78% in Ellsworth compared to 2016, and revenue in Bar Harbor up 84% in the same time period.

The Ellsworth American reported that although communities around the state are struggling to deal with an influx of short-term rental units, Ellsworth does not have plans to regulate short-term rentals.

"I don't get the sense that it's been a big issue here," Ellsworth City Manager David Cole told the newspaper.

Ellsworth has gotten a handful of complaints from residents uncomfortable with neighbors renting via Airbnb, but Code Enforcement Officer Lori Roberts said there are no rules to regulate the properties and that ordinances would be difficult to enforce if they did exist.

"I can't differentiate between a family coming for the weekend and somebody renting just because they're paying money," Roberts said.

Each of the top-10 properties in Bar Harbor took in over $45,000 in revenue.

In January, the Portland Press Herald reported that Airbnb continues to grow in popularity in Maine, with 280,000 people booking short-term rentals last year via the online booking site, a 62% jump over 2016.

The sudden rise in short-term rental properties offered through Airbnb and rivals has, however, sparked opposition and led to stricter regulation in some communities. That includes Portland, where new restrictions on un-hosted stays took effect at the start of the year.


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