Some Indy 500 fans pay thousands per night for home rental options

(WISH Photo)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — For those traveling to Indianapolis Memorial Day weekend, the greatest spectacle in racing can also feel like a greatest pinch in the wallet when it comes to places to stay.

“[The hotel room] was $559, which I was thinking in Indy would be about $250,” visitor Cole Mcilwraith said.

With thousands traveling to Indianapolis, fans need a place to stay. One option is a property near Indianapolis’ north side that costs $2,500.

“If you’re spending that much money for a bed and breakfast, you would hope that you very good treatment,” visitor Robert Heere said.

“It better be an awesome place,” Mcilwraith said. “It better have a pool, maybe a butler.”

In fact, it does have a pool and even a hot tub. The owner, Kevin Warren, said it’s worth the price.

“I think we are,” Warren said. “We offer a lot more than the average home. You’re not just renting a home, you’re renting an entire property.”

Warren gave us a tour before race fans park for the weekend. In addition to the carriage suite, the main house features bedrooms, including two en suites.

“I actually have to turn away 20 to 30 bookings,” Warren said. “There just aren’t enough of us around.”

Airbnb allows neighbors to rent out a room or property. It’s becoming a popular Indy 500 option.

The company said 2,000 guests will use the site this weekend around Indianapolis and will generate $414,000 for homeowners.

Hotels are winning too. Visit Indy said 33,000 rooms are booked, and businesses are getting more money. Visit Indy said hotels are charging 20 percent more than they were this time two years ago.

Airbnb renters charge more as well. Warren rents five properties this weekend, at double the price. And with the Indy 500 continuing to be a must see, he said a lot more neighbors are using it than when he started three years ago. “There were probably only two or three homes that Airbnb’d, and now there are thousands,” Warren said.

Warren said some people look to book rooms immediately after the Indy 500 ends for the following year. Hotels sell out quickly as well. Visit Indy said this years rooms sold out eight week’s ahead of 2015’s pace. Of course, 2016 was different with it being the 100th running of the Indy 500.

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