Thursday, April 5, 2018

Airbnb Price Gouging Could Cost Those Attending The Masters Thousands

Augusta Airbnb Hosts Increase Prices By As Much As $1,300 Per Night

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – AirbnbWATCH, an affordable housing advocate and consumer watchdog group, released a report today showing significant price gouging by Augusta Airbnb hosts, many of whom are commercial operators running multiple listings, for rentals during the Masters Tournament weekend.  

The report reveals rates for many Airbnb rentals increasing by thousands of dollars per night during the Masters Tournament weekend. These are similar to a finding in previously released reports during the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras. Now during the Masters Tournament weekend, a home in downtown Augusta, which is normally rented for $295 per night, was being advertised for $1,300 per night for the weekend. A typical four-night stay at that property would cost a total of $1,180, but the same length of stay during the Masters Tournament would cost more than $5,200. 

“Airbnb’s price gouging was a dream killer for many football fans during the Super Bowl and a buzz kill to party goers during Mardi Gras. Airbnb is continuing that practice with folks looking to enjoy the Masters Tournament weekend,” stated Lauren Windsor, AirbnbWATCH’s spokesperson. “Permitting their “hosts” – who many times – let’s be honest – are real estate professionals – to raise rent by these astronomical rates is a very worrisome precedent that Airbnb is setting at these widely attended events.” 

In a San Diego Union-Tribune article, Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs said, “It’s pretty clear that our hosts don’t engage in gouging. When demand for Airbnb increases, supply also tends to increase. When you look at big events, like for a Super Bowl weekend, there’s maybe a $20 increase.”

Windsor points out the reports exposing Airbnb hosts’ gouging guests at major events like the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and now at the Masters Tournament tell a very different story.

“While many golf fans were expecting to enjoy ‘a tradition like no other’ while at the greatest golf tournament in the world, they weren’t expecting to face extreme pricing while trying to book their stays,” stated Windsor. “Commercial Airbnb hosts will be pushing golf fans’ wallets to the limits, while driving thousands of complete strangers into the streets of Augusta neighborhoods.”

The Masters Tournament is scheduled for April 5-8 this year.

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