CHICAGO — Getting a room on Airbnb in Chicago is 64 percent cheaper than getting a room from a brand-name hotel in the city, according to a report from Airbnb.
The home-sharing service released a report Thursday showing that the average Airbnb room in Chicago over July 4th weekend this year is going for $103.84, compared with the average chain hotel room going for $291.
Airbnb released the report as a response to opposition from "the big hotel chains" who the company says are "targeting people who share their homes because they want to continue exploiting their control of supply in markets in order to use 'compression pricing,' the industry term for price gouging, to raise prices for consumers."
Hosts set their own prices on Airbnb.
"We are able to show them rates of comparable listings in their neighborhoods if they feel it's helpful to guide their decisions, but ultimately [hosts] make the final calls," said Airbnb spokesman Benjamin Breit. "Some raise rates during weekends or during the summer since demand is obviously higher."
The American Hotel & Lodging Association responded to Airbnb's report noting that the hotel industry's prices are based around supply and demand. It also noted that hotels generally face more regulations.
"Airbnb itself admits that it facilitates this market behavior from its hosts," Troy Flanagan, spokesman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, said in a statement. "The difference is, when there is a special event and revenues do increase, legal lodging businesses obey zoning and safety rules and pay their full share of the tax bill to support their communities, unlike Airbnb and its army of commercial — often illegal — operators.”
In Chicago, home-sharing platforms like Airbnb have been facing increasing scrutiny in City Hall. In March, a 4 percent tax on home-stays went into effect. Those taxes are going toward programs aimed at homelessness issues.
This week, the City Council banned the short-term rentals in parts of Ald. Marty Quinn's 13th Ward. The alderman also proposed further bans in other parts of his ward.
At least 15,358 nights have been booked in Chicago during the July 4th weekend using Airbnb, according to Airbnb's report. That's a 35 percent increase over the same holiday weekend last year.
Here's the report: