Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > Running a short-term rental for the U.S. Open in Pinehurst? Here’s what you should know.

Running a short-term rental for the U.S. Open in Pinehurst? Here’s what you should know.

  • Apr 30, 2024 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Major sporting events often create opportunities for short-term rental (STR) hosts as thousands of fans converge to catch the excitement. The U.S. Open, held in June every year by the United States Golf Association, is no exception. This year’s event happens June 13–16 at the historic Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Between 35,000 and 40,000 people are expected to attend for each day of the tournament — and many of those will need a place to sleep. 

Short-term rental operators are eager to cater to the thousands of visitors who’ll be in town to attend the tournament. But hosts do need to do their homework first to understand the laws that affect STRs in the area.

STR hosts may have to register with local authorities

Short-term rental rules are largely determined by governments at the local rather than state level. Municipalities near Pinehurst Resort are no exception. Each community sets its own STR regulations that apply to properties within its borders.


In 2022, the Pinehurst Village Council passed a law banning new short-term rentals outside of mixed use and hotel districts. Properties that were established before the new law went into effect on October 27, 2022, are allowed to continue operating, but they must apply for nonconforming certification from the village. STRs must also follow rules on large gatherings, noise, and occupancy limits. However, the STR ordinance does allow property owners in any zoning district to rent out their home or accessory dwelling for a period of 14 days or less in a calendar year without having to obtain a development permit — a concession to those who want to rent their homes out just for the tournament. 

Southern Pines

In nearby Southern Pines, STRs are called “tourist homes,” and are defined as dwelling units used for periods of less than 30 days. As in Pinehurst, tourist homes are limited to certain zoning districts outside of residential areas.

Operators must also follow lodging tax laws

All STRs in North Carolina are subject to state lodging taxes. For state tax purposes, STRs in North Carolina are defined as reservations of less than 90 continuous days. Short-term rental operators are required to register with the North Carolina Department of Revenue, collect lodging taxes from guests, file lodging tax returns, and remit the lodging taxes to the state.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. Short-term rentals of a private residence for less than 15 days in a calendar year are exempt from lodging taxes unless operators go through a short-term rental marketplace such as Airbnb or Vrbo. If all an operator’s rental transactions go through a short-term rental marketplace, the host doesn’t need to register with the state, collect taxes, or file lodging tax returns. 

North Carolina requires all marketplace facilitators whose gross sales exceed $100,000 or 200 transactions yearly sourced to North Carolina to collect and remit state sales tax on behalf of all sellers (hosts). When guests book and pay directly with an operator rather than through a marketplace, the host is responsible for lodging tax compliance.

Short-term rentals in Moore County, North Carolina, that are rented for 90 days or less are also subject to local occupancy tax, which is administered by the county.

What’s the Masters Rule?

The Masters Rule is a well-known guideline for federal income tax that often creates confusion for STR hosts. If you only rent out your home for 14 days or less over the course of the year, you don’t need to report that income on your federal income taxes. This is known as the “Masters Rule,” and only applies to federal income taxes that are filed yearly with the Internal Revenue Service, not state or local lodging taxes. 

Getting help with STR lodging taxes

Avalara MyLodgeTax can help vacation rental hosts automate and simplify lodging tax compliance on the local and state level, including tax registration and filing. For more on vacation rental lodging taxes in North Carolina, see our state vacation rental tax guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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Learn more about NC lodging tax rules