Airbnb Hosts to Earn Record $250K During Berkshire Hathaway Investors Conference
The Omaha Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) host community will earn a combined $250,000 while welcoming at least 1,300 guests on the weekend of May 4 as the city hosts the annual Berkshire Hathaway (www.berkshirehathaway.com) investors conference and the commencement ceremony for the University of Nebraska Omaha.
The weekend is expected to bring the largest influx of Airbnb guests to Omaha in the history of Airbnb’s platform, far exceeding the weekend of the 2017 investors conference and UNO commencement. Omaha hotels typically reach full occupancy during the Berkshire/UNO weekend. By expanding lodging capacity and keeping as many visitors as possible within the corporate limits of Omaha, local hosts are helping the city take full economic advantage of these major events.
Airbnb’s home sharing platform first gained prominence in Omaha when Warren Buffett endorsed the platform and encouraged travelers to use it after learning of Omaha hotels price gouging during 2014 Berkshire investors conference.
This economic impact report comes on the heels of the Nebraska Legislature overwhelmingly passing a bill in April (LB873) that sets state standards for short-term rentals throughout Nebraska. Authored by Sen. Adam Morfeld, the legislation protects home sharing rights, prohibits municipalities from any outright bans of short-term rentals, and authorizes the Nebraska Department of Revenue to enter into a tax agreement with Airbnb that would allow the platform to collect and remit occupancy taxes on behalf of its hosts.
Recent data indicates that Airbnb and its host community appear to be complementing — rather than competing with — the Omaha hotel industry. Reports from the Hotel News Now demonstrate that hotel occupancy rates in the greater Omaha area have risen in parallel to Airbnb’s growth. This indicates that Airbnb is opening up the state to a new slice of prospective tourists by catering to travelers less able to afford hotels, those who desire to stay in neighborhoods or cities that lack hotels, and families who prefer to be together under one roof.