When we started investing in short-term rentals in South City St. Louis, the number one question we heard was “Do you really think people are going to visit St. Louis?”. To be completely honest, I was also skeptical. I expected there’d be a rush of visitors coming in town for graduations in May, and Cards fans coming in for baseball games April through October, but what about the rest of year? I worried that our quaint two bed 1 bath in Bevo sit empty during the cold winter months.
Over the past two years managing short-term rentals, we’ve learned that there are plenty of visitors traveling to St. Louis who often prefer to stay in AirBNBs. Moreover, these guests are not limited to the families of college students or baseball fans. We’ve hosted folks traveling to St. Louis for a variety of reasons: a traveling nurse working in St. Louis for a few months, a family relocating from the West Coast, and parents of child receiving a transplant at a local hospital. Although we do have higher occupancy during the summer months, there is plenty of traffic during the winter as well.
Recently released data supports our experience. In 2018, St. Louis city welcomed 144,000 guests which earned hosts $14.4 million. Last year, St. Louis had more short-term rental guests than any other city in Missouri. And it looks like short-term rentals might be even more popular in 2019; in May 3,800 guests stayed in homes listed on the AirBNB platform, representing the largest AirBNB surge in the city’s history.