REPORT: Airbnb price gouging could cost Kentucky Derby attendees thousands

AirbnbWATCH has revealed significant price gouging by Louisville Airbnb hosts, most of whom are commercial operators running multiple listings, for rentals during the Kentucky Derby weekend.

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The report reveals rates for many Airbnb rentals increasing by thousands of dollars per night during the Kentucky Derby weekend. These are similar to a finding in previously released reports during the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras.  Now, during the Kentucky Derby weekend, an apartment in downtown Louisville, which is normally rented for $300 per night, was being advertised for $2,800 per night for the weekend.  A typical three-night stay at that apartment would cost a total of $900, but the same length of stay during the Kentucky Derby would cost more than $7,500.

“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 one of America’s truly great horse races, the Kentucky Derby,” 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 Kentucky Derby tell a very different story.

“While many horse racing enthusiasts might be expecting to bet big on their favorite horse, they were certainly not expecting to be spending big on their stays,” stated Windsor.  “Commercial Airbnb hosts will be pushing Kentucky Derby attendees’ wallets to the limits, while driving thousands of complete strangers into the streets of Louisville neighborhoods.”

The Kentucky Derby is scheduled for May 5 this year.

Airbnb’s in Louisville Off Event Rate/Night Kentucky Derby
May 4 – May 6 Rate/Night
$ Rate Increase Percent Increase
Garden House: Hosted by Terry $124 $1,012 $888 716%
Awesome One Bedroom Loft Apartment: Hosted by Carolyne** $112 $900 $788 704%
NuLu Apt- Walking distance to everything NULU: Hosted by Key Source Properties** $89 $748 $659 740%
Tyler Park Cottage in the Highlands: Hosted by Stephanie & Stephen** $80 $1,000 $920 1150%
The Hillcrest- Great Crescent Hill Location! : Hosted by Rachael** $150 $1,900 $1,750 1167%
3BR – VINTAGE COLOR & STYLE – BEST LOCATION!!!: Hosted by Tom** $63 $1,094 $1,031 1637%
BEST AIRBNB FOR LARGE GROUPS: Hosted by Emily** $300 $2,800 $2,500 833%
Bed and Bikes await you : Hosted by Sarah** $99 $900 $801 809%
Award-Winning Design, 3 BR House in Old Louisville: Hosted by Bethany** $129 $1,999 $1,870 1450%
*All rates and unit availabilities subject to change per host preference

**Denotes commercial operator with multiple other listings including:

–        Host Carolyne (300 listings), Host Key Source Properties (27 listings), Host Stephanie & Stephen (2 listings), Host Rachael (3 listings), Host Tom (5), Host Sarah (13) and Host Emily (2)