With the Super Bowl in Santa Clara on Sunday, Airbnb hosts expected a windfall. Bay Area residents with space to spare greeted an anticipated flood of football fans with hiked prices thinking visitors would be desperate for a place to stay.
But it didn't work out that way--no Gold Rush in the home state of the 49ers.
"I'm one of Airbnb's top 10 places in San Jose and I've got 85 five-star reviews, but I've gotten no inquiries about my house near Willow Glen so I'm a little frustrated right now," Airbnb "super host" Rebecca Morgan told the San Jose Mercury News. She told the newspaper she was charging $249 a night for the Super Bowl, up from $162, but that she had plans to drop the price a bit.
What's more, Airbnb hosts aren't the only ones feeling the cold shoulder. Hotels are similarly missing the mark on booking expectations, according to the Mercury News.
The issue is supply has managed to outstrip demand, the co-founder of Beyond Pricing, Ian McHenry, told the San Francisco Chronicle. Beyond Pricing helps vacation rental hosts determine prices. Other less-hyped but large events in San Francisco like Salesforce's Dreamforce conference and Outside Lands yielded a greater windfall for Bay Area hosts, he said.
"There is so much more supply that rates are pretty close to normal."
But Airbnb says not all parts of the Bay Area are full of hosts wondering "What gives?" Hosts in cities like Fremont and Redwood City, which are not tourist destinations like San Francisco and Oakland, are bringing in more than they typically could. Airbnb spokesman Jakob Kerr says hosts in these areas are able to make more than $1,000 over the weekend.
In San Jose and Santa Clara, which are located closer to Levi's Stadium than other Bay Area rental cities, 200 percent more guests are renting out locations, he tells Inc. "I don't think it's been a miss at all, we've had record numbers of guests," he says.
The company projected in a blog post earlier this week that 4,000 rentals would be booked over the weekend generating $21 million in economic activity. And so far, the number of spots getting rented out are at least keeping pace with those projections.
"The numbers in our report show that the Super Bowl has been a tremendous success for the Airbnb community. Over 5,000 hosts across the Bay Area have Super Bowl reservations" including in many cities that don't typically see as much tourist activity, adds Kerr.
This story has been corrected to reflect that San Jose and Santa Clara are seeing a 200 percent increase in Airbnb guests.