Milwaukee saw Airbnb spike ahead of Summerfest

Largest inbound visitor spike was June 25

Airbnb's homepage.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

Milwaukee saw a spike in Airbnb visitors on June 25, right when vendors, seasonal employees and crew members were arriving in town for Summerfest.

A screenshot of Dan Wilde’s Milwaukee Airbnb listing.
A screenshot of a Milwaukee Airbnb listing.

Airbnb allows residents to rent out their homes to travelers through an online listing service. It’s one of the elements of the “sharing economy” which has taken hold nationally, allowing people to share homes, cars, bikes and services. Read more about the sharing economy’s impact on Milwaukee in the latest BizTimes Milwaukee cover story.

Summerfest ran from June 29 to July 10, except July 4. More than 800,000 people attended the music festival over its 11-day run.

Airbnb has 200 hosts in the Milwaukee market, and about 13,500 people stayed in Milwaukee via Airbnb in the 12 months ending June 30, according to Benjamin Breit, Airbnb spokesman. The number of visitors using Airbnb in Milwaukee is up 133 percent year-over-year.

The day with the largest inbound visitor spike over that 12-month period was June 25, when there was a 298 percent increase in visitors over the average day.

Other cities saw similar spikes in Airbnb rentals surrounding large events, such as The Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky (968 percent spike); the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana (830 percent spike); and the NBA Finals in Cleveland, Ohio (263 percent spike).

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