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Study: Pittsburgh second to Philadelphia for number of Airbnb rentals in Pa.

Written by Kim Lyons on .

Pittsburgh accounts for about 400 of the nearly 2,000 listings in Pennsylvania on lodging website Airbnb, according to data from analytics website Airdna. That figure is dwarfed by, of course, by Philadelphia, which has 1,650 listings. Slightly more than half of Pittsburgh listings on Airbnb are for a private room, with about 41 percent listing an entire house or apartment.

The data contains information through June. Last month, Philadelphia began collecting an 8.5 percent occupancy tax from short-term rentals, including Airbnb listings, in preparation for an influx of out-of-town visitors during Pope Francis' upcoming visit. The city joined a list of about a dozen other cities where Airbnb handles the collection and remittance of the occupancy tax.

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Airdna provides reports, for a fee, to Airbnb hosts to help them determine if they're getting the best possible price for their rentals, compared to others in a given metro area. The reports are based on data "freely available on the Airbnb website," according to Airdna's methodology statement.

San Francisco-based Airbnb is one of several online short-term lodging rental companies that connect travelers with hosts in private residences who offer a room or an entire house, often for a lower rate than a hotel. The company is valued at more than $20 billion, with an estimated 1.2 million rentals around the world.

Under Allegheny County regulations, Airbnb hosts owe the 7 percent occupancy tax required of "an apartment-hotel which rents certain apartments or rooms for occupancy on a week-to-week basis, or other periods less than 30 days." Anyone hosting a short-term rental here is supposed to register his or her property with the county within 30 days.

 

 


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2015 Training Camp Preview: Quarterbacks

Written by Sam Werner on .

Pitt-Voytik

In the days leading up to Pitt's first training camp under new coach Pat Narduzzi, we'll go over each position to look at where the Panthers sit going into 2015. Up today: Quarterbacks...

Projected depth chart
1. Chad Voytik (RS Jr; 6-1, 215)
2. Nate Peterman (RS Jr; 6-2, 225)
3. Adam Bertke (RS Fr; 6-6, 235)
4. Ben DiNucci (Fr; 6-2, 190)

This is probably going to be the closest Pitt is going to come to having an actual, legitimate quarterback competition since 2010. Still, it's probably only a matter of time before Voytik is officially named the starter for the opener against Youngstown State. It's not just that Voytik has a year of experience under his belt, he was actually really good for Pitt down the stretch last year. Voytik's passing efficiency over the last six games of the season (starting with Georgia Tech going through the bowl game) was 160.02, which if stretched out over the course of the whole season, would have been seventh in FBS last year.

It will be interesting to watch how Voytik is used in the offense this year, though. Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney knows that James Conner is his workhorse, but now that Voytik has a year of starting experience under his belt, I wouldn't be surprised if he's asked to do a little bit more in the offense this season.

As for Peterman, he's intriguing mostly in that he already has some experience working in Chaney's system at Tennessee. He's playing catch-up a little bit, though, since he wasn't here for the spring. He'll get a chance to compete with Voytik for the starting job, but it's really tough to unseat an incumbent starter, especially one that finished last year as strong as Voytik did. That being said, Peterman should provide some solid depth in case of injury, something Pitt hasn't really had at the quarterback position in years. It also should push Voytik to get better, since he knows he has some legitimate competition for the job now.

Bertke did look bigger this spring than he did last season, but he's still a long shot to see any playing time this season. He definitely looked like a freshman in training camp last year, but did show some progression in the spring. It'll be interesting to see if he looks more comfortable in practice situations this year.

DiNucci gives Pitt some nice depth for the future, but he's heading for a redshirt this year.

UP TOMORROW: Running backs

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Maverick Rowan comments on N.C. State commitment, other subjects

Written by Mike White on .

The rest of WPIAL Class AA basketball can relax. Maverick Rowan is not coming back to Lincoln Park.

Rowan played at Lincoln Park as a freshman and sophomore and became a WPIAL star before leaving the Beaver County charter school and transferring to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last August. A few months ago, Rowan's father, Ron, said there was a chance he could come back to Lincoln Park for his senior year.

But Maverick Rowan won't be playing at Lincoln Park. He won't be playing high school basketball at all this upcoming season. He will not have a senior year. Instead, he will be playing major-college basketball in the ACC.

Rowan decided to graduate early from high school. He took a few summer courses to reach his requirements, got a diploma Friday and made a verbal commitment to North Carolina State on Sunday. He will leave for N.C. State in a few weeks and be eligible to play this season.

Rowan is a highly-touted, 6-foot-7, 210-pound shooting guard. Before his sophomore year at Lincoln Park, he committed to Pitt, but reopened his recruitment last fall when he transferred to Cardinal Gibbons. At one time before he decided to graduate early, he was rated among the top 50 players in the class of 2016. He had a number of scholarship offers. His other finalists were St. John's, Louisville and West Virginia.

Maverick RowanRowan scored 1,482 points as a freshman and sophomore at Lincoln Park and had 142 3-pointers. He averaged 26.5 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 61.3 percent from the field this past season for Cardinal Gibbons. He led the team to the Florida 5A state championship and finished his career with 2,382 career points. He is an excellent shooter and scores in a variety of ways. He has gotten stronger in the past year, adding 20 pounds since he left for Florida last August.

Below are some comments from Rowan about his college choice and a few other subjects. But before that, let's set the record straight on a few other things.

*** Rowan was NOT ineligible to play his final year of high school because of his age. He could have played. Rowan turned 19 last month, which is not over the age limit in Pennsylvania or Florida. In Pennsylvania, a student-athlete can't turn 19 before July 1 and be eligible.

*** Rowan's father, Ron, has been a big part of his son's career, training him and working as an assistant coach at some of Maverick's schools. But Ron Rowan, his wife and family are not moving to the N.C. State area. The family is moving back to their old house in Beaver County in the Central Valley School District. They were on their way back Sunday.

*** Maverick Rowan said North Carolina State being an adidas school had nothing to do with his decision. When the family moved to Florida, Ron Rowan said he might take a job with adidas. But Maverick said, "He never worked for adidas. A shoe brand didn't have anything to do with anything."

Now some comments from Rowan about a variety of other subjects:

On N.C. State's recruitment: "They started recruiting me after I opened up my recruiting. They were the second team to come down and visit me. They've been on me since day one. ... I didn't have any favorites early on. Throughout the year, N.C. State recruited me like everyone else. They supported me all year. I developed a great relationship with [assistant] coach [Orlando] Early and coach [Mark] Gottfried."

On style of play: "Style of play was definitely a big factor. I think I can fit any style of play, but the style of play I want to play is at N.C. State. Coach Gottfried does a great job of getting up shots for his wings. I think I can go in and fit in right away."

On whether he is ready to play major-college basketball now and whether he will play a lot as a freshman: "I feel I can compete in the ACC right now. It doesn't make any sense to go back for my senior year in high school. I'm definitely going to play a lot [as a freshman]. I wouldn't go there if I wasn't going to play. I wouldn't skip my senior year."

On whether he had anything to prove this summer on the AAU circuit: "I didn't have anything to prove this summer. I just wanted to go out and have fun."

On whether if he had to do it over again, would he and his family move to Florida for one year: "I think it was a great move for myself and my family. I don't think it would've benefited me as much playing Lincoln Park's season. I played against much quicker, faster competition."

On his eagerness to start college: "I'm very happy. I'm very excited. I can't wait to get on campus. Move-in day is August 15th."

Some final thoughts: Look for Rowan to see plenty of time as a freshman at N.C. State. There is no way he would've chosen any college without being assured to see playing time, if not start.

Watching highlights of Maverick from Cardinal Gibbons, his game improved this past season. He was certainly talented as a sophomore, but it was easy for him, playing the top in a 1-3-1 zone trap, and scoring loads of points off steals by his teammates and fast breaks. But he has gotten stronger - and better - in the past year. He is a "scorer." He is not the quickest cat in the world, but he can score - and still really shoot.

Lastly, things certainly worked out for Rowan after his move. But I believe he would've been recruited just as heavily if he stayed at Lincoln Park. He got offers originally from his play on the AAU circuit. That's the reality of today's basketball, like it or not. Coaches recruit kids mostly from how they play at the AAU level. He had plenty of major colleges wanting him and not just because of playing at Cardinal Gibbons.

 

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Vacation post - 08-03-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins forward Dominic Moore (right). Acquired from the Predators along with Libor Pivko in exchange for a draft pick in the 2006 offseason, Moore spent part of one season with the Penguins in 2006-07. In 59 games, he contributed 15 points. At the trade deadline, he was dealt to the Wild in exchange for a draft pick. He is currently a member of the Rangers

-Happy 35th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jordan Leopold. Acquired just prior to the 2010 trade deadline in a deal which sent a draft pick to Florida, Leopold appeared in 20 regular season games for the Penguins and contributed eight points, including two short-handed goals. In the postseason, Leopold appeared in eight games and failed to record a point. Following the season, he joined the Sabres as a free agent. Leopold is one of four former Hobey Baker Award winners who have played for the Penguins. The others are Brian Bonin, Brian Holzinger and Kip Miller. He is currently an unrestricted free agent.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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Budget Talks

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The budget talks in Harrisburg don't seem to be going anywhere. Hopefully, both sides will look to compromise to get a budget passed. 

080315 Budget Talks

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