Charlotteans cashing in on NBA All-Star Weekend, renting out homes on Airbnb

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A lot of homeowners in the Charlotte area are cashing in on this weekend’s NBA All-Star Game by renting out their homes.

Airbnb says 3,800 people have booked a place to stay in the area through its website, the company’s largest number of bookings ever for Charlotte.

The average host will make about $395.

The NBA All-Star Weekend's economic impact in Charlotte will be huge, with an estimated $100 million coming to the city.

People across the city are hoping they can earn a little, too.

[Need a hotel room or Airbnb in Atlanta for the Super Bowl? Good luck]

Arthur Johnson told Channel 9 he has never offered his Charlotte home to strangers before, but he’s willing now, as about 150,000 visitors will be in the Queen City for NBA All-Star Weekend.

“It’s just a perfect weekend where I’m actually going to be gone for a few days and stuff like that, why not?” Johnson said. “It’s NBA All-Star Weekend anyway. A lot of people in town, they’re going to need places to stay, so I figured I’d help out.”

Johnson listed his home on the popular home rental website Airbnb for the first time, for $250 a night.

Compared to some other listings, it’s not a bad price for two furnished bedrooms, especially since there are few hotel rooms available.

“It pays for almost half my mortgage,” Johnson said.

Of course, Johnson isn't the only one trying to cash in on the big event.

A quick search of properties still available shows several catering to All-Star Weekend guests.

An Airbnb spokesperson said 900 homeowners within Charlotte city limits alone are listing their home, many for the first time.

Altogether, hosts will make $855,000.

Channel 9 talked to some people in uptown who said they tried listing their condo through Airbnb, but their homeowner's association would not allow it.

Johnson admits he has hesitation about whether strangers could trash his home.. but says he may be open to renting it again for future events in Charlotte.

There's another benefit for the area -- guests staying at Airbnb's pay local and state taxes on their rental.

Because of that, a spokesperson with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority told Channel 9 that the organization supports Airbnb.

Airbnb has its own Insurance that provides liability coverage to hosts, but the company recommends talking to your insurance provider about what your specific policy will cover with visitors.