It’s the holiday season and I must admit, one of my favorite times of the year. Especially on the business beat, where oftentimes the big stories are not breaking, and I can cruise through my list of features I’ve been trying to write for months.
This year, though, for the first time in my life, I’m taking two weeks off. Two whole weeks. So there’ll be no Business Watch column for the next two weeks. Right here, my editor will typically say, “I’m sure everyone will miss it.” Few understand how incredibly sarcastic and smart-alecky journalists are. It’s both a benefit and a trial of the job.
Writing this Friday afternoon for the Sunday newspaper, I still have shopping to complete and a couple of gifts to make. And at least 221 gifts to wrap. Or maybe it only feels like that many. I saw something online suggesting a drinking game where you take a drink every time you lose the scissors or the tape while wrapping. I’d probably only make it through 10 gifts before passing out. Add in taking a drink when a cat sits on the paper, and it would all be over.
As the year ends, I try to look for something profound that I’ve learned. This has actually been a rough one, with some health issues and challenges (my family has totaled two cars in the last six months), and my overwhelming feeling is thank goodness this is over. Hoping 2018 has that shiny new smell and feel, and I can bring a bit of a different attitude back after my two weeks off.
But also this time of year, every single year, I feel amazingly grateful for the people I love and who love me. They are the sandpaper to smooth out the rough times, and the joy always.
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. See you in 2018!
Kansas Airbnb hosts earned $4.2 million, welcomed 47,000 guests in 2017
In 2017, Kansas hosts who are part of the Airbnb network earned $4.2 million, with 1,060 hosts in Topeka earning $67,000 of that.
Airbnb said there are 900 Kansans who are signed up to host guests in their homes throughout the state. They typically earn about $3,400 a year in supplemental income.
Kansas hotel revenue also is increasing, according to the 2017 Kansas Annual Tourism Report, which said about 36 million visitors spent about $6.7 billion in the state during fiscal year 2017.
Other cities and their guest arrivals and host income:
— Lawrence, 8,960; $803,000
— Manhattan, 2,850; $270,000
— Wichita, 7,730; $637,000
Average holiday spending expected to top $900, highest in 12 years
Consumer attitudes were positive going into the holiday season, and a survey by CNBC found they will spend more than $900 during the holiday season. That’s up from $702 last year.
Surveying 800 Americans, CNBC found that 29 percent of them said they expected to spend more than $1,000 over the holidays.
“The holiday spending outlook is stronger than it has been in over decade,” said Micah Roberts from Public Opinion Strategies, the Republican pollster for the survey. “People are more comfortable with where the economy is and where it’s heading, prompting them to spend money this holiday season and help boost the economy, as well.”
The survey found more than 50 percent of the public believe the economy is in good or excellent shape and that half believe it’s a good time to invest in stocks, the highest showing for both metrics in the survey.
“There appears to be a wealth and political effect behind spending intentions,” the CNBC release said. “Those who believe the stock market will rise show above-average plans to increase their spending. And holiday spending plans by Republicans, which are often larger than Democrats, are far larger this year compared to last year.”
The median spending number of $498 is considerably lower than the average, a sign that the big gains are likely driven by several big spenders, likely the wealthiest.
Median spending plans for those with $30,000 or less in income actually show a modest decline from 2016.