ST. LOUIS – St. Louis officials scramble to stop short-term rental parties, the self-proclaimed mastermind behind the celebrations gives insight into how they even started.
He goes by the name FatFinesser; critics who watch his social media might argue there’s little finesse to these parties, though.
“On any given Saturday night in the City of St. Louis, there might be 10 or 15 Airbnbs, and every last one of them has like 80 people in them,” he said.
Some of the parties have grown out of control, into hallways and the streets.
FatFinesser said a few invites across Instagram turn into dozens and dozens.
“It’s a whole bunch of different people, all mixed in one environment. That’s how things get bad,” he said.
The most recent party ended with shots fired.
St. Louis officials are at a breaking point when it comes to these celebrations that end in chaos.
“We’ve had the same thing time and time again,” said St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer, whose 8th Ward includes part of downtown. “We’ve got some problematic landlords. We’ve got some ‘Airbnb’ property owners that have got to be reigned in.”
The city’s Planning Commission is pushing for permits, business licenses, and contact information for short-term renters to be required, with penalties for repeated issues.
“I want them [city] to know, you don’t have to worry about us on weekdays when you’re all going to work,” FatFinesser said.
He said that when it comes to renting these apartments out, it’s all about how you reserve them.
“The younger people, they’ll have a parent or an older person that looks—the look is everything,” FatFinesser said.
He admitted that some weekends have been pushed to the extreme. While part of renting a downtown apartment, he said, is about showing off, he points the finger at a select few for being a buzzkill.
“No one wants to do this to their real home. You don’t want to throw a party at your house that you live in every day,” FatFinesser said.
As for how the rentals are being paid for, he didn’t reveal that part.
“I feel like you’re asking me questions, so it won’t work anymore,” he said.
FOX 2 was unable to confirm if the apartments being rented are, in fact, Airbnbs or another company. Airbnb and the City of St. Louis have worked for more than a year to limit parties in short-term rentals.
Last year, Airbnb Director of Trust and Safety Communications Ben Breit visited St. Louis.
“Any host who is allowing parties in their properties does not belong in Airbnb, and they don’t deserve to be operating as a short-term rental host in the City of St. Louis,” Breit said at the time.
Airbnb has a neighborhood support line, which allows neighbors to speak directly to the company about urgent concerns involving a property they believe may be listed on Airbnb.