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Vrbo Deals With Inauguration, 1 Billion Empty Hotel Rooms, Minneapolis Regulations, Canadian Stripe Updates, Cuvee New Website

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It’s finally Friday! This has been a pretty big week for news. The United States has a new president, created a new vaccine distribution plan, rejoined the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization. Whew - all in a day's week’s work. 😅

Now let’s talk about vacation rentals!

Vrbo caught some heat for not following the lead of Airbnb, which blocked and canceled all reservations in the Washington, D.C., area during inauguration week. Expedia, the parent company of Vrbo, stated they were carefully evaluating bookings and launching extraordinary emergency procedures. In the end, Vrbo decided to block any new bookings starting Tuesday, January 19th, through Friday. 

In a Bloomberg report, over 1 billion hotel rooms sat empty in the United States alone during the 2020 holiday season. On the flipside, Airbnb occupancy rates soared during this time. According to the report, hotel owners have seen about $46 billion in lost revenue. If this is any indication, short-term rentals is the direction the market is heading in.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is preparing to implement a new short-term rental ordinance that will limit STR ownership to only one property, other than their current residence. This is forcing owners to either sell their properties or convert them to long-term rentals. On top of this, no more than 10% of units can be STRs in buildings with more than 20 apartments.  Why one vacation rental per person?  Seems kind of arbitrary, right?!

For any of you based in Canada that use Stripe, you can now accept payments through the Discover Global Network. This will specifically cover over 889 million cardholders from Discover, Diners Club International, and other cards that are co-branded with Discover. Even better - you don’t have to do anything, this has already been enabled for all standard connected accounts!

A month ago, we released the WordPress Plugin Beta. Some of you have already gotten your hands on this, and we have received a lot of great feedback. Cuvee, a luxury PM (and OwnerRez user), got their hands on this and ran with it. They created a beautiful new website, and use the WordPress plugin for part of the functionality. We look forward to seeing all the amazing custom websites that our users will create and look forward to expanding our WordPress Plugin to support that creativity.  We love the new website, Cuvee!