Indianapolis homeowners using Airbnb to rent rooms for Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hotels in downtown Indianapolis are sold out this weekend for the 100th Running of the Indy 500. But some homeowners are opening up their doors to help.

These homeowners are using a website called Airbnb to list their rooms and sometimes their entire house.

Homeowners in Fountain Square told 24-Hour News 8 it’s not about making extra cash, but giving visitors a personal taste of their neighborhood.

Bethany Schultz and Kelly Weger are no strangers to renting out their homes in Fountain Square. They have been doing it for a several years now through Airbnb.

“We have been booked for three or four months. I mean it’s definitely been a very big deal, much bigger this year than normal.”

The couple renovated a two bedroom and one bath home on Hoyt Avenue. Schultz said the pricing to rent the place can vary depending on the week and the event, like the Indy 500.

“We keep getting inquires even though we’re already booked so it’s been a pretty interesting time,” said Schultz. “I think there’s a lot of new people using Airbnb because it’s hard to find housing.”

Their home also features artwork from local painters in Fountain Square. The artworks on the walls are highlighting the culture and life of the neighborhood.

“We really love Fountain Square and for us this is truly an awesome opportunity to be able to share our love and when guest arrive we usually will walk them down to the square,” said Weger.

For people looking for last minute housing,  24-Hour News 8 did a search on the web site and found rooms running for as low as $35 per night to $7,000.

“We’ve had a number of friends texting us or calling us saying, hey so and so forgot to book their hotel room do you by any chance have any availability and we had to say unfortunately not and good luck,” said Weger.

Visit Indy, the tourism and marketing group is even comparing the demand for housing for the special anniversary of the race to the Super Bowl.

“It’s a good problem to have when all of your hotel rooms have been snapped up,” said Chris Gahl, Visit Indy. “Strong sign this will be a record setting year for Memorial Day weekend here in Indianapolis.”

Visit Indy said they are helping people with last minute hotel accommodations. The group is suggesting hotels about an hour outside of Indianapolis, including Bloomington and Lafayette.

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