Airbnb hosts made big money during Purdue home football games

Airbnb reports that its growth in Tippecanoe County has almost doubled.

Posted: Nov. 16, 2018 12:36 AM
Updated: Nov. 17, 2018 9:35 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Airbnb reports that its growth in Tippecanoe County has almost doubled.

The company says this year hosts earned $190 thousand in supplemental income during home Purdue football games alone.

That equates to about 2,150 guests.

Casey Giles, an Airbnb hosts said a big portion of those guests were his.

"It began as a hobby, but it has become a full time job," said Giles.

The retired 42-year-old owns 5 properties within Tippecanoe County.

Some of his properties are in neighborhoods; some of them are close to Purdue's campus and some are log cabins. 

He showed News 18 his log cabin, but its nine beds and 20 person occupancy will put a dent in your wallet if you're staying for a home football game or on a weekend. 

"For the most part the people that are spending this kind of money are pretty respectful of your home and you know it has been a pretty easy experience," said Giles.

The experience is one that truly does keep getting bigger and better for Giles, especially for big match-ups like when Ohio State visited Ross-Ade Stadium.

"Ohio State, every home was booked, and most of them between six and 10 per house so you're talking about 100 to 120 people," said Giles.

Airbnb reports that 370 guests stayed in Tippecanoe County for the game.

Giles said he probably housed a third of the visitors.

He says his properties were booked six to 12 months in advance.

"Obviously the number one goal is to make sure everyone has the best experience possible," said Giles. "It's like a home away from home without having to stay in a hotel."

He said he doesn't mind hosting the home stays, but says it takes a lot of hard work to keep up with demand.

"Definitely do the research," said Giles. "Find out the steps to take. You definitely want to go through the county and check with them and follow the procedure to get your house paid to be a vacation home."

The vacation homes aren't going to stop for Giles. He wants to add at least five more by next year.

Giles says the way things are going he could see more than 500 percent growth since he started offering home stays.

He adds most, if not all, of his properties are booked for this weekend's match-up when Wisconsin comes to visit Purdue.

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