The names of seated graduates are checked prior to receiving diplomas. Nearly 580 University of Dayton students received degrees during the 165th commencement ceremony in the University of Dayton Arena in 2017. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Number of Airbnb rentals surge in Dayton: Here’s why

Airbnb rentals across Ohio have spiked in recent weeks and it appears that property owners have college commencement ceremonies to thank for the bump in business.

Airbnb —the online marketplace for short-term renting of condos, apartments and rooms —is reporting giant jumps in rentals across the state and some of the biggest bumps in renting were caused by graduation at area colleges.

The University of Dayton’s graduation caused a surge in the number of Airbnb rentals throughout the Miami Valley during the weekend of May 5. Around 370 guests checked in to rentals that weekend, a 44 percent spike that represents largest influx of guests ever during Airbnb’s time operating in the Gem City.

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Miami University and the Oxford community is already seeing a 680 percent increase in the number of guests renting through Airbnb for the school’s commencement May 19. Around 230 guests are expected to book a place to stay in the Oxford area through Airbnb next weekend, according to the company.

“We’re very encouraged to see our platform utilized to provide affordable lodging accommodations for college families and support Ohio’s middle-class host community,” said Laura Spanjian, Airbnb policy director.

Cincinnati is the second largest market for Airbnb in Ohio. The University of Cincinnati’s April 27 and April 28 ceremonies prompted a 19 percent influx in renters as around 1,600 people used the online rental website, according to Airbnb.

Ohio State University’s events brought the most guests of any college in the state with around 2,150 renting units for the school’s May 6 commencement.

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Along with providing an alternative to hotels, Airbnb rentals injected hundreds of thousands into Ohio’s economy because of graduations. Around $26,000 was spent on Dayton-area rentals during UD’s ceremonies and a total of $529,000 is expected to be spent on rentals for commencement at nine Ohio colleges Airbnb is reporting data on.

“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,” Spanjian said.

Airbnb, which was founded a decade ago in the U.S., has become a big business for Ohio property owners looking to turn their spare rooms into extra cash. In 2017, Ohio Airbnb hosts earned more than $29 million, according to the company.

Dayton, Fairborn and Yellow Springs were among the locations where hosts made the most cash last year. Dayton hosts brought in around $795,000 by the end of 2017 while Yellow Sprins hosts made a total of $170,000 and property owners in Fairborn made a combined $124,000 through Airbnb.

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