Area Airbnbs already filling up ahead of DNC

400 guest arrivals booked so far

DNC 2020 will be held at Fiserv Forum.
DNC 2020 will be held at Fiserv Forum.

Last updated on September 12th, 2019 at 09:04 pm

The 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee won’t take place for another 10 months, but local Airbnbs have already attracted more than 400 reservations during those four days.

The San Fransisco-based home sharing service on Tuesday said it plans to host at least 20,000 total guests during the DNC and the Republican National Convention, which takes place in Charlotte the following month. 

Airbnb said almost 100 reservations have already been made in Charlotte during the days of the RNC.

It’s still early, but the steep difference in Airbnb bookings between the two cities can likely be attributed to the larger Charlotte area having more hotel rooms than the Milwaukee area.

Milwaukee’s bid committee during the DNC site selection process had secured 16,000 hotel rooms within 40 minutes of the city’s convention center district and Fiserv Forum. Rooms have already been booked for the convention’s 4,000 delegates, some of which will stay in Rosemont and Lake County, Illinois.

With an estimated 50,000 total visitors to the DNC, organizers have said those blocked rooms will all be used but they won’t accommodate everyone.

Airbnb said it has filled the lodging gap in recent years for past convention host cities such as Charlotte, Tampa, Cleveland and Philadelphia. In fact, the total number of Airbnb guest arrivals in those cities during conventions has increased from 80 in 2008 to 7,600 in 2016.

Airbnb told BizTimes Milwaukee that there are currently 1,000 active Airbnb hosts in the Milwaukee area, up from 700 listings in March.

“The eyes of North Carolina and well beyond, will be upon Charlotte from August 24-27,  while Milwaukee’s Deer District will be the place where the buck will stop from July 13-16,” said Chris Lehane, senior vice president of global policy at Airbnb. “With both states key to the 2020 election, our North Carolina and Wisconsin communities of hosts and guests are excited to be ambassadors at large, welcoming visitors from around the world to their respective states. Hosting for big events like the DNC and the RNC is how Airbnb started and we look forward to helping these cities and surrounding areas sustainably scale to welcome tens of thousands of guests next summer.”

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Maredithe Meyer
Maredithe Meyer started as an intern reporter at BizTimes in summer 2015. She currently covers entertainment, sports, tourism and restaurants. In May 2017, she graduated with a journalism degree from Marquette University where she worked as an in-depth projects reporter for the Marquette Wire and Marquette Tribune.