I don’t, but some people hope to make a lot of money renting theirs.
With the Super Bowl heading to Houston next month, locals are starting to see dollar signs as well, hoping to cash in on visitors’ willingness to pay thousands to rent their homes or apartments during the biggest football game of the year.
While Beyonce isn’t likely to hit up Airbnb this year – she’s hails from Houston, after all – plenty of other celebrities will need places to stay. So will countless corporate executives with sky-high lodging budgets, and, of course, all the others simply unable to get a hotel room in town.
Exactly how many takers, and how much they’re willing to spend, will become clearer after the participating teams have been determined. In the meantime, a couple of thousand hopeful Houstonians already are checking their emails waiting for the alert that shows their place has been booked during the game.
“My hope is the market is going to get really tight for premium properties,” said Michael Salinas, a CPA who’s listing his three-bedroom townhouse in Montrose for $3,699 a night during Super Bowl LI.
Local listings on the popular Airbnb rental website have increased 40 percent in just the last two months, the company said.
The city expects about 140,000 out of town guests and there are roughly 84,000 hotel rooms in the metro area, according to A.J. Mistretta, a spokesman for the city’s tourism bureau.
“We believe most properties will be full but there are a lot of factors that play in, including who ends up in the game and how far their fans will travel for the experience,” Mistretta said in an email.
Chris Bisel is listing his four-bedroom Meyerland home for $5,500 per night. With that, Bisel is offering free chauffeur service in his GMC Yukon XL Denali. He hasn’t had any takers yet.
“Frankly, we put it up there at sort of a crazy price just to see what would happen. If we rent the place out for five or six nights, we clear 25 or 30 grand,” he said, enough to pay for the first year of college for his daughter, a high school senior.
As of Jan. 1, Houston had about 5,700 listings on Airbnb, according to the company’s most recent data, up from about 4,100 listings at the beginning of November.
During Super Bowl weekend last year, Airbnb guests stayed in more than 4,000 listings in the Bay Area, said Laura Spanjian, public policy director for the San Francisco-based company. The average rate was $225 per night.
“There are some very expensive listings, but there are also some very affordable ones,” Spanjian said.
Yes, that’s the same Laura Spanjian who had been the city’s Sustainability Director under Mayor Parker. The wide disparity between what some AirBnB listers in Houston are asking and what people actually got on average in San Francisco makes me think the folks here are dreaming a little too hard, but I guess you never know. Maybe San Francisco had more hotel space available, and maybe fewer people made the kind of last-minute arrangements that can lead to premium prices being charged. I do know people in Austin who have made a bundle renting out their places during SxSW, so it is possible. It’s not practical for me and my family at this time, but if it works for you, go for it. Just avoid renting to Johnny Manziell and you should be fine.