5,000 Plus Visitors Choose Airbnb for Final Four

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This weekend's final four is also providing a new source of income as more than 5,000 visitors to this weekends Final Four are renting rooms in private homes, and in some cases entire homes, through the home sharing site Airbnb, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"Airbnb provides a wonderful opportunity for folks to use their extra space, whether it is a guest room, if they are an empty nester, or if they are someone who travels a lot and their home is sitting empty," Airbnb spokesman Laura Rillos told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

Easily more than 100,000 people are descending on San Antonio, including huge parties from the four colleges playing in the championship, and 'No Vacancy' signs started popping up on hotel reservation sites as early as January.

She says for many of the San Antonians who are welcoming Final Four visitors into their homes, this is the first time they have participated in the fast growing short term home rental market.

She says it also demonstrates that sites like Airbnb are not there to  compete against established hotels, but to add to the room capacity for busy times like the Final Four and other major events in San Antonio.

"We think this is a really great example that shows how home sharing and Airbnb compliment hotels in San Antonio," she said.  "There are more people coming."

The Airbnb boom comes just as City Council is considering new restrictions on short term rentals, including home sharing.The restrictions would include limits on noise, prohibitions on guests sleeping outside, parking requirements, and proposals to limit the number of home sharing sites on a block.

  There is also a proposal to limit home sharing to owner occupied properties, out of a concern that investors would start buying up homes and turning them into home sharing locations.  There would also be restrictions that would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants so they could make more money using the apartment for short term rentals.

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