Tampa vacation rentals ready for Super Bowl despite pandemic

Tampa will make history Sunday as the first city to host a Super Bowl that includes the home team, a dream come true for long-suffering Bucs fans and a region that has been at the top of professional sports championships. ‘last year.

But having a home team playing in the game made worse by a global pandemic also raised concerns about the extent of the shock the hospitality industry would see this weekend.

Yet for local vacation rentals – properties listed on popular websites like AirBnB and Vrbo, for example – the Super Bowl continues to attract a surge in bookings and premium nightly rates.

According to AirDNA, a Denver-based analytics company that collects data on short-term rentals, the Tampa area saw an 18% increase in occupancy for Super Bowl weekend compared to the same period last year. The average daily rate is also up nearly 111%, from $ 128 a year ago to $ 270 this weekend.

Those percentages are even higher than the boost Miami got in the same categories when it hosted the Super Bowl last year. Jamie Lane, vice president of research at AirDNA, said Tampa’s low rental supply compared to Miami is likely the cause of the region’s sharp price hikes.

The company estimates that total revenue from the Tampa rentals booked over the weekend will be over $ 1.6 million.

“All my properties are reserved. I don’t have anything available, so hopefully people coming over have already made their reservations, ”said Kathie Wild, owner of the Tampa iTrip Vacations franchise, a vacation rental company. She manages about fifteen properties.

Rental property owners around Tampa Bay feared for the future when the pandemic first took hold in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis has temporarily closed all new bookings and registrations at the properties via a Executive Decree on March 27, which did not apply the same ban to hotels. The restrictions began to lift in mid-May.

But since then, many local properties have seen their business restart at a faster pace than hotels.

The industry has touted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists staying in a vacation rental with members of your household is safer than staying at the hotel (although the agency still lists it as “less secure” than staying at home). AirBnB also has a policy in place that prohibits parties and limits gatherings within their properties to 16 people. Guests who break the rules may have their account suspended.

Overall, many travelers opt for self-contained accommodation without worrying about shared lobbies and elevators, local property managers have said.

“June and July were a little milder,” Wild said. “We started to see some momentum in August and then September was a record month for us. Then October beat September and November beat October.

Yet not all the numbers are good news. Despite the year-over-year gains, Tampa still has a much higher percentage of available units – at nearly 40% – than Miami a year ago, according to AirDNA.

Britney Mroczkowski, who is part of the management team of Florida developer BTI Partners, has built a Small house next to her home in Tampa, not far from Raymond James Stadium, about two years ago with the Super Bowl in mind. But it still hasn’t been booked.

“It’s definitely because of the pandemic,” she said. “Before COVID, I was making about four to five times what I am now making per month.”

Plus, as rentals in Hillsborough have boomed, the pandemic may have delayed the benefits of surrounding Super Bowl counties, said Denis Hanks, executive director of the Florida Vacation Rental Management Association.

“Orlando is actually down a few percentage points from last year,” he said. Pinellas also doesn’t see much of a Super Bowl boost, according to an analysis from the association.

“I think because the capacity of the stadium is limited you probably won’t see a bigger radius expand like it would if we had the whole stadium (full) and we didn’t have to worry about the issues. of COVID, ”Hanks mentioned.

The interior of an Airstream RV rental property operated by Teal Door Hosting, pictured on Wednesday February 3, 2021.
[ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

One key to keeping properties reserved during the pandemic has been to keep prices reasonable and competitive, said J-Ryan Stewart, one of the co-founders of Teal Door Hosting, which operates around 70 rental properties, primarily in Tampa. He said they were able to increase fares by about two to four times normal prices for Super Bowl weekend, but they intentionally did not increase.

“We don’t get any of these fantastic $ 3,000 a night stories,” he said. “We see this as an increase in prices. It’s not only less consumer-friendly, but you’re not going to be reserved either.

He said about 90 percent of Teal Door Hosting properties are booked this weekend, and the ones that aren’t are the ones they just listed.

“A lot of people come here even though they don’t have tickets to the game, just to be in town while all the hype continues. I know Ybor is going to be completely turned on, ”said Stewart. “If COVID didn’t happen, I would be there. “

• • •

CHRONOLOGY: How the Bucs and Tampa converged for Super Bowl 55

ATTENTION TO SUPER BOWL VISITORS: Here’s our guide to Tampa Bay’s socially remote attractions.

PANDEMIC HOLIDAY PLANNING: How to safely host a Super Bowl party

FANS AT TAMPA: A first look at the Super Bowl experience in Tampa

MORE BUCS PHOTOS: Follow the Tampa Bay Times Bucs coverage on Instagram

BUCS NEWSLETTER: Sign up for the Bucs RedZone newsletter with team reporter Joey Knight:

We’re working hard to bring you the latest Super Bowl news from the Tampa Bay area. This effort requires resources for collection and updating. If you are not yet a subscriber, please consider purchasing a digital or print subscription.

Comments are closed.