Airbnb numbers to spike in Missouri during commencement season

Graduation season is upon us, and that means families from out of town will flock to college towns across the Show-Me state to shower their loved ones with congratulatory messages.

But they’ll also need a place to stay.

According to data released by Airbnb Tuesday, more people will stay in rentals backed by the room-sharing company during the 2018 commencement season in Missouri, than last year.

For graduation weekends throughout the state, local Airbnb host communities are expanding lodging capacity and offering affordable rates for visiting families. With hotels often selling out due to the influx of college parents, commencement ceremonies have long been known as sources of an unfortunate degree of hotel price gouging, which the rise of home sharing has helped alleviate.

For Columbia and St. Charles, the Mizzou and Lindenwood commencements are ushering in the largest influxes of guests to those respective cities in the history of Airbnb’s platform.

Of the 27 Columbia hotels making their lodging information available (as of April 18), only 8 had available rooms throughout Mizzou’s commencement. Additionally, the vast minority hotels made available to UMKC and UMSL families during commencement are not within walking distance of the campuses, whereas the home sharing community allows parents to stay within close proximity of the university and their children, typically at considerably more affordable rates.

“By expanding lodging capacity and helping to welcome additional guests during these major events, home sharing facilitates significant economic activity for communities with large universities,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb policy director, said in a written statement. “Most of us can relate to having to book hotels 1-2 years in advance of college graduations. We’re very encouraged to see our platform utilized to provide affordable lodging accommodations for college families and support Missouri’s middle-class host community.”

For this year’s commencements, local governments in Missouri will capitalize further from new tax revenue.

In January, Airbnb announced a tax agreement with the Missouri Department of Revenue to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of its 6,300 Missouri hosts. And in May, Airbnb announced a tax agreement with St. Charles County — home of Lindenwood — to collect and remit local county taxes on behalf of its St. Charles hosts.

The commencement data can be found in full below. Please note that due to the large market sizes of St. Louis and Kansas City, data is inclusive only for the neighborhoods within close proximity the respective St. Louis and Kansas City universities, rather than the entire cities.

Mizzou (Columbia)  

  • Commencement Dates: May 11-13

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 820 (projection) — this will represent the largest influx of guests to Columbia in the history of Airbnb’s platform

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 300%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $80,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: 291

University of Missouri – Kansas City (data reflective solely of the Rockhill neighborhood)

  • Commencement Dates: May 11-13

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 150 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 10%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $14,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $261

University of Missouri – St. Louis (data reflective solely of 1-mile radius from the university, encompassing parts of St. Louis County)

Classic columns from side in summer framed by green; Jesse Dome view from Cornell.
  • Commencement Dates: May 11-13

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 30 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 6%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $3,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $205

Washington University (St. Louis — data reflective solely of the University City neighborhood)  

  • Commencement Dates: May 19

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 220 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 108%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $25,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $386

Saint Louis University (data reflective solely of the Midtown and Grand Central neighborhoods)

  • Commencement Dates: May 19

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 400 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 95%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $40,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $317

Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau)

  • Commencement Dates: May 12

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 50 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 35%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $4,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $144

Lindenwood University (St. Charles)

  • Commencement Dates: May 4-5

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 125 — this represented the largest influx of guests to St. Charles in the history of Airbnb’s platform

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 71%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $9,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $257

Missouri State University (Springfield)

  • Commencement Dates: May 18

  • Total Airbnb Guests During Commencement: 280 (projection)

  • Percentage Spike from Previous Week in Guest Arrivals: 24%

  • Total Airbnb Host Income During Commencement: $18,000

  • Supplemental Income for Typical Host During Commencement: $231

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