By Faith Miller
As City Council debated new regulations for Airbnbs and other short-term rentals, Colorado Springs Airbnb hosts earned $1.24 million over five Air Force Academy football home game weekends this season — and are projected to bring in an additional $139,000 the weekend of Nov. 30, when the Falcons play the University of Wyoming.
That’s according to booking data from Airbnb, which announced the projected totals Nov. 26.
Airbnb hosts in Colorado Springs earned the most money of any Air Force home game weekend this year Sept. 27 and 28, when the Academy hosted San Jose State University. They brought in $391,000 from 4,080 guest arrivals, according to Airbnb booking data.
More recently, Airbnb hosts earned $155,000 from 2,380 guest arrivals the weekend of Nov. 1 and 2, when the Air Force played the Army.
(Those numbers represent Airbnb totals for the game weekends, not necessarily just people who visited Colorado Springs for the purpose of attending a football game.)
“This college football season is a great example of how Airbnb expands lodging stock to help cities like Colorado Springs welcome an influx of visitors for big events,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb senior policy director for Colorado, said in a statement. “Fans and alumni can find a comfortable, affordable place to stay, while hosts and small businesses are receiving an economic boost from this expanded tourism economy.”
The announcement went out the same day that City Council was set to hold a public hearing on proposed new requirements governing the occupancy and density of short-term rentals, or STRs, within city limits.
The public hearing, which would not have included a formal vote, was postponed due to a snowstorm. It will be rescheduled for a future, to-be-determined date.
City staff had devised four potential options for an ordinance regulating STRs. The hearing Nov. 26 would have solicited public feedback on the different options:
Ordinance options A, B and C define an “owner occupied” short-term rental as a property that is occupied by the owner for at least 180 days out of the year, with exceptions for deployed military service members.
Option A mandates that no non-owner occupied STR could be located within five lots of another non-owner occupied STR in any direction.
Option B includes the same five-lot spacing requirement as Option A, but also bans non-owner occupied STRs in single-family zones.
Option C includes the same five-lot spacing requirement as options A and B, but requires that applications for non-owner occupied units within single-family zones be reviewed by the Planning Commission at a public hearing.