The company said nearly 600 Airbnb hosts rented out their properties to visitors from across Canada last weekend. It was the largest weekend in the platform’s history in Edmonton, and was a 101 per cent increase in guest arrivals compared to the same weekend last year.
Guests came from across the country, but the most common cities were Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Having people rent out accommodations in their own city when it’s hosting a big event is something Airbnb actually sees often.
“Maybe they book a place, they get together with friends, they want to watch together, and they come in from maybe the outer areas, or someone is booking for relatives — they’re all getting together and having a fun family time together,” said Alex Dagg, director of public policy for Airbnb in Canada.
Over the course of Grey Cup weekend, about 2,000 guests used Airbnb rentals, which translated to more than $180,000. The average cost of a rental was $70 per night.
Dagg says being able to offer more — and less expensive — accommodation options is one of Airbnb’s strengths.
“We can provide really elastic supply like this during big events when there’s a sudden increase,” she said.
“Hotels, often what they do is, they increase their rates significantly during big events because they can, which then makes it really unaffordable for people to enjoy something. So one of the things we can do is by increasing supply, by people putting their space up, it helps make it affordable… and the Grey Cup is a fun Canadian tradition.”
“We are thrilled that our hosts allowed more people to enjoy the Grey Cup while also helping to support the local economy.”
The platform said 49 per cent of booked guests were between the ages of 30 and 49. Nearly 10 per cent of hosts over Grey Cup weekend were seniors and five per cent were hosts sharing their property for the first time, Airbnb said.
“We see this when there’s a big event like this and people say: ‘Oh we have extra space,’ or: ‘I’m not going to be here this weekend. I’m going to put my place on Airbnb for the first time.”
Football fans watch the Calgary Stampeders battle the Ottawa Redblacks during first half Grey Cup action at Commonwealth Stadium, in Edmonton Sunday November 25, 2018. Photo by David Bloom David Bloom / Postmedia
Folks who didn’t take today off to nurse a savage Grey Cup hangover and are heading to work should expect a chilly Monday morning thanks to 15 km/h winds out of the southeast that will drop the windchill down to about -13 C for the first few hours of the day.
Those temperatures will rise to about -6 C in the afternoon with a top of -1 C as the early morning cloudiness clears.
Tonight the winds are going to pick up again to 15 km/h but it won’t be as nearly cold with a low of -4 C (with the wind chill it’ll be around -7 C).
Tomorrow it is going to be mainly cloudy with freezing rain starting late in the afternoon with periods of snow expected in the afternoon.