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chi-our-alcova-is-our-most (3) A room at the House of Two Urns in Wicker Park. The B&B has seen a 25% decrease in occupancy since the proliferation of Airbnb homes in the neighborhood.

CHICAGO—The war of words between traditional hotel operators and the Airbnb site has begun to escalate. Airbnb has become a popular option for travelers seeking short-term rental housing, but the American Hotel & Lodging Association claims that the service increasingly provides cover for commercial operators using it to avoid paying taxes and securing the proper licenses.

A new study published by AHLA asserts that about $29 million of Airbnb’s Chicago-area revenue between October 2014 and September 2015, or 58% of the total, came from operators that listed their properties on the site for more than 180 days. And operators that listed multiple units during that period accounted for more than one-third of the company’s Chicago-area revenue.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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