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Speedway Airbnb rentals surge ahead of race weekend

Speedway Airbnb rentals surge

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Airbnb rentals are surging ahead of the Indianapolis 500. 

According to data from the short-term rental giant, Indianapolis, and specifically Speedway, is trending platform-wide for race weekend. 

One of those race fans flocking to the town is Michigan native Ken Anderson.

Anderson caught the Indy 500 fever when he was just 10 years old in 1973. He shook racing legend A.J. Foyt’s hand that year and decided to never miss a race again. 

This year is extra special, though. He’s staying in Indy for the entire month of May at an Airbnb rental about a mile away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

“I’m retired and the kids can take care of themselves, there’s no better time than to take full advantage of a full month in Speedway,” Anderson said. “It’s just a lifelong dream.”

During the day, Anderson is working as a yellow shirt. During the night, though, he is spending his time decorating the house with vintage mementos from the Speedway and preparing for his highly anticipated Porch Party.

He plans to host the party as a part of his small group Elite IndyCar. The group was able to raise enough money to have their logo placed on Conor Daly’s #24 car mirrors. 

While Anderson is fulfilling his lifelong dream, his stay is also a reflection of a growing trend. 

According to Emily Hardwick, who co-owns LnL Rental Properties alongside her husband, Ben Hardwick, Speedway is lined with short-term rental options and has brought in notable earnings for the town.

Airbnb tells News 8 hosts in Indianapolis brought in over $1.5 million the weekend of the race in 2023. 

The Hardwicks own both a condo and a home that they rent out. The home, which is lovingly dubbed “Bricks on 15th,” was built in 1930, and even has the original brick exposed on a section of the wall. 

The condo is called “Bricks on Main,” and features suites overlooking Main Street.

With the many short-term rental options in the area, Emily Hardwick said they have learned to pay attention to the city’s happenings and model their prices after that. This approach helps them stay relevant and continue to be a top choice for renters looking to stay in the area. 

“Pay attention to it, because if you aren’t paying attention to it, then you typically fall to the bottom and you’re not as relevant in terms of what people are looking for,” said Emily Hardwick. 

Although the Hardwicks are focused on running their business, they are even more focused on helping their renters have a great experience and giving them an opportunity to experience the magic of the Indy 500.

Emily Hardwick has experienced that magic since she was a child. 

“I’ve been going to the race since I was 10 years old,” Emily Hardwick said. “Dating back to that time, I don’t even know how long, but my grandma did host a couple for over 50 years.”

Emily and Ben Hardwick even plan to move into the “Bricks on 15th” house far down the future.