Apparently PNJ reporter Jim Little wanted to ask Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward about his Airbnb commercial and his conflicting message in an interview in another video produced by AirbnbWatch.
Mayor Hayward would not speak to the reporter. Instead, his office has posted this on cityofpensacola.com:
“People expect when they come to a progressive city that it will have modern amenities. Today that means elements of the shared economy like Airbnb and Uber. I have always been a strong supporter of the shared economy and of consumer choice. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have sensible regulations.
Airbnb adds a complementary amenity to the wonderful hotels in Pensacola and it contributes to our local economy in a variety of ways. Already there are over 250 Airbnb operators in the greater Pensacola area and some in every council district. I’m happy that these local individuals found a business opportunity and I’m pleased to hear that the County Clerk’s office is already working with Airbnb to ensure that the Tourist Development Tax is collected.”
Inweekly has forwarded this to Scott Powers of Florida Politics. He, too, has wanted to talk with the mayor.