'Desert Modern' Airbnb Battle - Page 2

Palm Springs' rental ordinance sends 'fun vacation compound' to market with fallout
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront
Fridays on the Homefront

"That's the challenge: personal property rights against the right to peace and quiet," Wilson said of widespread but mostly localized resistance to the Airbnb model. Pleading their case, he observed, "People are trying to grapple with a very real [rental] need in a city that prides itself on historic preservation."

Kowal said she agrees there should be some kind of vacation rental ordinance, but as far as the one approved last month by the Palm Springs City Council, Wilson said, "I know she's not happy about it."

Stating that the new law is "way too restrictive," Kowal said, "There is a misconception that vacationers want the hotel experience more than the vacation rental experience…There's a huge difference."

She noted that The Amado is far from the only mid-century modern lodging impacted by the new ordinance. Another is The Junipero, which was owned by the Desert Collective, a food and hospitality consortium that Kowal created and leads.

"We had to shut that down," she said of The Junipero, citing the Thirteen Palms and The Twist as two other Palm Springs vacation rentals being affected in which she is not involved. "I think it's ultimately going to affect the whole economy."

"My focus has always been the 'five-star hotel' experience," said the photographer, who continues to rent the five units for about $300 a night during a "sunset" period in the law. She conceded though, "Once the property sells, the new ordinance will not allow the new owner to apply for vacation rental permits."

Wilson said he's had "a ton of interest" in the listing, some as a "fun vacation compound," while conceding, "We don't have an offer on the table…I think a few people are kind of doing their due diligence."

If a buyer wants to continue use as an income property, the realtor said, "It would probably require some changes."

"It's really a classic example of mid-century modern architecture in a multi-unit property," said Kowal, putting out a call for what she termed "an architecture enthusiast" to take over her lovely labor of love, now listing on the legal seas.