SAN ANTONIO, Texas (CBS) —If you’re thinking of joining the Final Four-bound Villanova Wildcats, finding a place to stay via an Airbnb may cost you way more than it should due to major price gouging, according to a recent report.
AirbnbWATCH released a report claiming many hosts are increasing prices by thousands, up to as much as $3,278 a night during Final Four weekend.
“Airbnb’s price gouging was a dream killer for many football fans during the Super Bowl and a buzz kill to party goers during Mardi Gras. Airbnb is continuing that practice with folks looking to enjoy one of America’s truly great sporting events, the College Basketball Final Four,” said Lauren Windsor, AirbnbWATCH’s spokesperson. “Permitting their ‘hosts’ – who many times– let’s be honest – are real estate professionals – to raise rent by these astronomical rates is a very worrisome precedent that Airbnb is setting at widely attended events.”
A quick search on Airbnb’s website shows multiple homes for rent well under $100.
In response to the claims, an Airbnb spokesperson told Eyewitness News the following:
“This hotel industry front group study relies on a handful of cherry-picked listings in an attempt to undermine middle class families that rely on home sharing to make valuable supplemental income. The vast majority of Airbnb hosts in San Antonio are providing affordable stays, allowing fans to experience the tournament when they otherwise could not afford expensive hotel options.”
The Final Four will be from March 31 through April 2.