Vrbo tries to crack down on Super Bowl parties in rentals

Online short-term rental marketplace Vrbo is trying to root out football fans who want to rent homes over Super Bowl weekend to host unauthorized parties.

Vrbo tries to help property managers detect people who want to host an event by tracking factors such as length of stay and number of guests, the Seattle-based division of Expedia Group Inc. said Monday. in a press release. If a Vrbo reservation is deemed high risk, the host receives an email alert and can cancel the guest’s reservation without penalty. Customers also receive an alert reminding them of the company’s no-party policy. Vrbo will not cancel or block any reservations, leaving that up to hosts or guests.

Vacation rental companies bracing for an influx of visitors to Phoenix for the Feb. 12 football game have already taken steps to prevent parties. Airbnb Inc. contacted local law enforcement ahead of the Super Bowl and held a forum for hosts, according to a statement. The company officially banned parties last summer and took action last month to prevent New Year’s Eve parties.

“While disruptive party houses are rare on Vrbo, addressing them remains a priority,” said Philip Minardi, director of public affairs at Expedia Group. “By deploying this new solution and working closely with local hosts, Vrbo is preventing problematic behavior before it starts.”

On Vrbo, the demographic information of potential renters is not taken into account and less than 0.25% of all weekend bookings nationwide have received complaints related to the party in the past year , the company said.

The greater Phoenix metro area saw 48% more nights booked over Super Bowl Sunday weekend compared to the same weekend last year, according to industry data provider AirDNA.

Football fans are likely to face steep rates to stay in Phoenix for the game. The average rental for Feb. 12 is $747, up 83% from the same night a year ago.

Comments are closed.