Convention season is upon us, and in Cleveland and Philadelphia bookings on Airbnb.com have gotten political. Residents in both cities are looking to make some quick cash (and perhaps a good excuse to flee to the hinterlands) as the Republican National Convention rolls into the Rock and Roll Capital from July 18 to 21 and the Democratic National Convention hits the City of Brotherly Love from July 25 to 28. In fact, an Ohio mayor — Kevin Kennedy, the Democratic mayor of North Olmsted — is even looking to rent out his “RNC Ready” home, about a half-hour drive from Cleveland, according to Cleveland.com.
Representatives at Airbnb are reporting an uptick in guests as well as hosts in both cities for the upcoming conventions. Cleveland Airbnb bookings have quadrupled, compared to the weeks surrounding the conference, while Philadelphia bookings have tripled. A quick glimpse at the site and the political theme — often a pricey one — is impossible to miss: A one-bedroom apartment in Cleveland, listed as “Simply The Best for the RNC,” is going for $6,500 per night, and a two-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia, listed as a “Luxury Penthouse Apt for DNC,” is going for $3,500 per night.
In Cleveland, Airbnb expects between 1,300 and 1,400 guests to rent rooms, apartments and homes during the RNC, and nearly a quarter of those guests are expected to travel from Washington, D.C. The median nightly price that’s been booked is $260 a night. On average, hosts will earn about $611 during the convention. Nearly 60 percent of those hosts are listing their homes for the first time.
In Philadelphia, Airbnb expects 4,000 guests to rent rooms, apartments and homes during the DNC, and about 14 percent are expected to come from Washington, D.C. There, hosts will earn, on average, $721 during the convention, and the median nightly price that’s been booked is $100.
Residents aren’t the only ones cashing in on the convention. A search on Hotels.com suggests very few hotel rooms are available in the Cleveland area during the convention. A night at University Hotel & Suites, which gets just two stars out of five on the booking site, is going for $760 per night, and a Days Inn nearly 30 miles from Cleveland is fetching $500 a night. Philadelphia, on the other hand, appears to have far more rooms available at a variety of rates — along with the more affordable Airbnb DNC listings.
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