Residents of the Berkshires have rented out rooms in their homes for decades as a way to make extra income. But some innkeepers now say their room rentals are down because of competition from short-term rentals, like those found on Airbnb.
Massachusetts recently passed a law governing short-term rentals as a way to level the playing field. The new legislation comes at a time when there’s been a big jump in the number of Airbnb hosts in Berkshire County — an increase of nearly 56 percent since 2017.
Innkeepers at historic inns are waiting to see what the impact of the law will be.
On a recent tour, Lenox innkeeper Tom Johnson led the way into the library — a grand room in the Birchwood Inn, with a huge fireplace and windows looking out on pristine snow.
“This was added on. This is the new part of the house, added on in the late 1800s,” he said.