Airbnb hosts are jacking up their prices for the Final Four crowd

One place “nestled in the heart of super-cool uptown Minneapolis” normally goes for $85 a night. The Final Four nightly price: $1,445.

One place “nestled in the heart of super-cool uptown Minneapolis” normally goes for $85 a night. The Final Four nightly price: $1,445. Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

The Final Four is less than a week away, which means if you haven’t found a place to stay, you’d better get on it. Airbnb has been expecting you -- as have its nearly 6,000 hosts in the Twin Cities area – and they have adjusted their prices accordingly.

On any other day, this “modern guest house on Lake Calhoun” (Bde Maka Ska) is a two-bed, one-bath beauty for $195 a night. But during the Final Four, your easy access to Uptown and the big games rockets the price to $1,195.

Or maybe you’re more into this listing: “Uptown Funk, Make Once in a Lifetime Memories!” It has seven queen beds, two kitchens, a laundry room, cable TV, and fast WiFi,” and it’s “nestled in the heart of super-cool uptown Minneapolis.” Just $85 and this palace is all yours for a night. Unless that night involves basketball. Then that night costs $1,445.

Then there's this place: “Fifth St. Flat for Final Four, 1.4 Mi to Stadium.” It’s quick to get to the point, and the “30-minute walk to the game across the scenic Stone Arch Bridge” is one of its key selling points. On a normal night: $79. On the particular nights you'll need to make use of that 30-minute walk: $1,125.

These rates are completely up to the hosts, prone to rising up and down based on demand. And frankly, it’s hard to blame them. They finally have a chance to capitalize on what, during most of the year, means worrying about ice dams and leaking foundations, the life of owning property in Minnesota.

And they kind of have the market cornered. Nearly all the hotels in and around downtown Minneapolis are booked solid – and a lot of the big names in St. Paul and Bloomington.

You can still get deals similar to what you would pay on a normal night in some hotels in St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs.

If it seems like these Airbnb hosts know what they’re doing, they absolutely do. They've learned from the 2018 Super Bowl, when 125,000 tourists flooded the city from at least 50 miles away, and settled in for 396,000 overnight stays, according to one the Star Tribune report. Eighty-four percent of the available hotel rooms metro-wide were occupied, with an average rate of $249 a night.