Photo courtesy of Airbnb
Photo courtesy of Airbnb

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashton Kutcher will headline a giant “community gathering” in downtown Los Angeles in November hosted by the controversial home rental company Airbnb, the firm announced Tuesday.

Airbnb helps home owners rent out their residences to travelers around the world, and has drawn considerable criticism from neighbors of the rental units who don’t like living next to short-term occupants.

The company has also been the target of local governments wary of zoning violations and failure to provide tax dollars for rentals in the same way that municipalities require of hotels.

The company said Los Angeles will be the location of the third Airbnb Open says the Nov. 17-19 event will “combine visionary talks and company updates with music, art and food, celebrating the very best of this eclectic and resurgent city.”

Last year, Airbnb welcomed more than 5,000 hosts from 110 countries to Paris, France.

“This year, Airbnb plans to expand the scope of the Airbnb Open, welcoming both hosts and guests from its community as well as local Angelenos and others to explore the future of travel and hospitality,” the company’s statement says.

Founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list and book accommodations in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries.

Confirmed guest speakers include actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashton Kutcher, movie producer Brian Grazer, author Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat Pray Love”), TOMS shoe company founder Blake Mycoskie and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer.

“This year’s Airbnb Open will be a seminal moment for our community as we announce our vision for the future of hosting and travel,” said Airbnb co- founder and CEO Brian Chesky.

“As the first ever global festival of hosting, the Open will bring together hosts and guests from across the globe in one of the most creative places in the world, Los Angeles,” he said. “The city will be an open canvas for them to explore for three days of education, connection and celebration.”

Events locations will include four historic theaters and involve many local restaurants, cafes and other small businesses, according to Airbnb.

Early bird ticket registration opened today. For more information, visit www.airbnb.com/open.

— Staff and wire reports

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