Written by Jay Sanders (July 2017)
Also known as the Peer Economy, and as epitomized by such digital platforms as Uber and Airbnb, it has rapidly become a major economic driver throughout much of Western North Carolina.
Carnival time is always an exciting season in New Orleans. Like the Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina, the city is one of America’s greatest cultural treasures—a place that lives and breathes music, food, and life. When traveling to Mardi Gras, one must always seek an authentic experience, the core of which is meeting locals and finding your way off the well-trodden tourist path. Fortunately, this is a golden age of accessibility made possible by the Sharing Economy.
Before flying out of Asheville, we dropped the dog off at a local farm outside of Hendersonville that we discovered on DogVacay. The local family was thrilled to keep her for the week, even allowing our tail-wagger to sleep on their daughter’s bed. Upon landing in the Crescent City, we opened the Uber app on our phones and found a ride with a local driver who knew exactly how to navigate the parade route street closures that cut us off from the Lower Garden district. We were greeted at the door of our traditional shotgun house by our Airbnb host. She was full of valuable tips and information about the neighborhood. She told us about the best places to watch the parades, which tiny corner store sold the spiciest crawfish, and the best bar to enjoy a late-night cocktail without witnessing “the other side” of Mardi Gras. She even made sure that we had appropriate costumes and provided extra supplies of glitter.
In all of these experiences, everyone was a winner. Our spending made it directly into the pockets of local residents, while we enjoyed personalized service with very little effort. This is what the Sharing Economy is all about.
The full article continues below. Click to open in fullscreen…