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Airbnb: Bloomington Hosts Earned $359,000 During Football Weekends

IU Football during the first half of the game against Michigan State on October 1.

The short-term rental website Airbnb says Bloomington residents who list properties for rent on the site made a total of $359,000 during Indiana University home football weekends so far this year.

The largest payout came for IU’s homecoming game against Michigan, which earned local Airbnb hosts a combined $100,000.

Airbnb says that weekend was the largest spike in travelers it’s seen come to Bloomington in the history of its website. The company says there are 280 active Airbnb hosts in the community.

But the short-term rentals have come under fire from some local governments because of their impact on more traditional lodging options, like hotels. Bloomington considered regulating short-term rental properties last year by requiring permits and inspections, but the proposal never moved forward.

A bill proposed at the statehouse earlier this year would have prohibited local governments from banning short-term rentals, but it failed. A study committee examined the issue over the summer, but its recommendations to the legislature didn’t include specific language. The recommendations simply say the state should ensure cities don’t impose “undue restrictions” on short-term rentals.

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