Airbnb surge in popularity prompts run for the rentals

AirBnB predicting big year for Derby rentals

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Airbnb, the online accommodation rental service, predicts a big year for Derby rentals.

Airbnb says hundreds of Louisville homes are still available for Derby weekend ranging in price from $50 to more than $1,000 a night over the 3 day weekend. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Airbnb says hundreds of Louisville homes are still available for Derby weekend ranging in price from $50 to more than $1,000 a night over the 3 day weekend. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Currently, 65 percent of Louisville Airbnb listings are already taken for Derby weekend. But the website says hundreds of Louisville homes are still available ranging in price from $50 to more than $1,000 a night over the three day weekend.

Louisville Metro District 8 Councilman Brandon Coan. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)
Louisville Metro District 8 Councilman Brandon Coan. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)

“When more people stay in Louisville through short-term rentals, that’s more people spending money locally with Louisville restaurants, shops and other small businesses,” Airbnb policy manager Viviana Jordan said in a company press release. “Our local host community is again stepping up to ensure Louisville takes full economic advantage of this incredible event.”

This comes at a time when the city is attempting to regulate Airbnb properties, to limit their growth in some areas and establish a 600 foot rule for density.

The plan wouldn’t affect current Airbnb’s and, if the Metro Council approves it, it wouldn’t go into effect until after Derby.

Metro Councilman Brandon Coan (D-District 8) says the restrictions would apply “only to new investor-owned, non-primary residence, short term rentals in residential neighborhoods.”

Coan called it "a data-driven compromise between a position that would ban them completely and a position that wouldn't regulate them at all."

But Gant Hill, who manages Airbnb properties for dozens of clients, believes spacing properties 600 feet apart would limit options for customers and renters in popular areas.

Gant Hill, manages Airbnb properties for dozens of clients in the Louisville area.
Gant Hill, manages Airbnb properties for dozens of clients in the Louisville area.

“It will completely restrict further short term rental in areas such as Crescent Hill, the Highlands and Germantown -- where there are already several out there and that 600 foot ban would essentially close down that business altogether,” Hill said.

“People want that experience," he continued. "They want to stay in a house sometimes because a hotel doesn’t fit everyone’s needs. And I think the tourism industry would be negatively impacted because there are a lot of people out there that prefer to be in a home-type setting.”

The 600 foot proposal is on the Louisville Metro Council agenda for Thursday night.

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