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When most people think “Airbnb,” they think of a short-term rental (STR) lodging arrangement where homeowners rent space in their homes to one or maybe two parties at once. Often catered to vacationers, it’s thought to be an informal, mom-and-pop service.

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At least that’s how Airbnb started.

But an increasing number of companies have formalized a model that combines Airbnb booking arrangements with the basic structure of an average hotel—so-called “Airbnb hotels.” Airbnb itself is building some of these hotels, while other companies manage buildings under this format, often using Airbnb to manage bookings. In doing so, they blend not just the Airbnb and hotel format, but short-term, medium-term, and long-term leasing into one building. STRs already face harsh regulations, and it remains to be seen whether this hybrid model will, too.

Airriva is an example in this genre. It is a Columbus-based chain that buys hotel licenses for its properties, but rents rooms out on Airbnb, VRBO, and its own site. Airriva operates in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Texas, and is planning to enter Florida. I recently visited the hotel they are opening in Cleveland, still under construction. Inside a historic warehouse, it will have a restaurant, courtyard bar, and dozens of furnished rooms that are bigger than a standard hotel room.

Airriva also partners with large-scale property owners, such as Kansas City’s City Club, to broaden its reach. Other notable Airbnb hotel companies include Sonder and Blueground. The appeal to consumers is that, by letting them book through third parties, and check into and maintain their own units, they will not have to pay the higher prices involved with a large hotel staff. Another perk is that these hotels are not supposed to feel like hotels; they have common areas that foster a community feel.

Read rest of the article at Catalyst