Spring Training Delivers Economic Home Run To South Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, FL — The massive new spring training baseball complex in West Palm Beach has been an economic home run for South Florida residents who have sought to make extra cash by renting out their condos and homes to baseball-loving fans from Houston and Washington, D.C. Online rental website Airbnb reports an 82 percent spike in visitors during spring training compared to the previous five-week stretch. That translated into $595,000 in rental income.

Since the complex is home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals it is not surprising that the Nationals’ home base of Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia accounted for most of the visitors, according to Airbnb statistics. Texas fans accounted for the next greatest block.

"Baseball-related tourism represents a foundational component of the local economies for these cities," said Tom Martinelli of Airbnb Florida. "By expanding lodging capacity for regions with limited hotel inventory, Airbnb hosts helped welcome more families and baseball fans to their cities while serving as ambassadors for their local communities."

The Airbnb figures reflect rentals between Feb. 21 to March 27. Overall, Florida’s Grapefruit League brought 15 MLB teams to 12 Florida cities, primarily in Central and Southwest Florida. All cities saw a significant spikes in Airbnb guest arrivals during preseason baseball.

Mid-sized cities such as Jupiter saw a 133 percent spike in Airbnb rentals. Lakeland had a 140 percent spike, while Port St. Lucie had a 111 percent spike. Dunedin had a 129 percent spike and Port Charlotte had a 157 percent increase during spring training.

Larger vacation rental markets such as Sarasota saw a 100 percent spike while Fort Myers had a 112 percent spike. Clearwater had a 128 percent spike. Bradenton had an 88 increase and Tampa had a 92 percent increase thanks to the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.

In all but two of the Florida cities, residents of the team’s home state accounted for the largest supply of Airbnb guests. In West Palm Beach, Airbnb reported a total of 9,100 guests during spring training.

Here are other findings from Airbnb related to Florida cities:

TAMPA
Home to New York Yankees

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 23,000 guest arrivals Guest Origin: New York was #1 origin state to Tampa Overall Spike: 92% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Host Income: Tampa hosts earned $906,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from Visit Tampa Bay indicates that Tampa hotels are achieving record revenues and occupancy rates, in parallel to Airbnb’s growth Example of Review for Tampa Host During Spring Training:

CLEARWATER
Home to Philadelphia Phillies

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 8,000 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 128% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Pennsylvania was #1 origin state to Clearwater Host Income: Clearwater hosts earned $654,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Visitor & Convention Bureau indicates that Pinellas hotel occupancy and revenue continue to rise, in parallel to Airbnb’s growth Example of Review for Clearwater Host During Spring Training:

BRADENTON
Home to Pittsburgh Pirates

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 3,200 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 88% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Pennsylvania was #1 origin state to Bradenton Host Income: Bradenton hosts earned $196,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Manatee County hotels are reported to reach 95% occupancy during the tourism high season Example of Review for Bradenton Host During Spring Training:

LAKELAND
Home to Detroit Tigers

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 1,200 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 140% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Michigan was #1 origin state to Lakeland Host Income: Lakeland hosts earned $55,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from Visit Central Florida indicates that Tampa hotels are achieving record growth, in parallel to Airbnb’s growth Example of Review for Lakeland Host During Spring Training:

SARASOTA
Home to Baltimore Orioles

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 12,000 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 100% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Maryland was #5 origin state to Sarasota Host Income: Sarasota hosts earned $1.1 million during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Sarasota County hotels are reported to reach 95% occupancy during the tourism high season Example of Review for Sarasota Host During Spring Training:

DUNEDIN
Home to Toronto Blue Jays

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 1,600 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 129% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Ontario was #1 origin state/province (American or Canadian) to Dunedin Host Income: Dunedin hosts earned $125,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Visitor & Convention Bureau indicates that Pinellas hotel occupancy and revenue continue to rise, in parallel to Airbnb’s growth Example of Review for Dunedin Host During Spring Training:

FORT MYERS
Home to Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 5,500 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 112% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Minnesota was #1 origin state to Fort Myers, Massachusetts was #2 origin state Host Income: Fort Myers hosts earned $306,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau indicates that Fort Myers hotel occupancy and revenue continue to rise, in parallel to Airbnb’s growth Example of Review for Fort Myers Host During Spring Training:

PORT CHARLOTTE
Home to Tampa Rays

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 900 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 157% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Florida was #1 origin state to Port Charlotte Host Income: Port Charlotte hosts earned $63,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Most recent data from the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau indicates continually strong year-over-year hotel growth growth within Charlotte County Includes an ongoing boom in hotel construction in the region. Example of Review for Port Charlotte Host During Spring Training:

JUPITER
Home to Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 1,400 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 133% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: Missouri was #1 origin state to Jupiter, Florida was #2 origin state Host Income: Jupiter hosts earned $132,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Example of Review for Jupiter Host During Spring Training:

PORT ST. LUCIE
Home to New York Mets

During Spring Training:

Airbnb Guests: 1,900 guest arrivals Overall Spike: 111% spike in guests compared to previous 5 week stretch Guest Origin: New York was #1 origin state to Port St. Lucie Host Income: Port St. Lucie hosts earned $106,000 during Spring Training Value of Expanded Lodging Capacity as Hotels Reach Peak Capacity: Example of Review for Port St. Lucie Host During Spring Training:

Kissimmee, which is home to the Atlanta Braves for spring training was not included in the statistics, according to Airbnb. The temporary housing website said that Kissimmee represents its third largest Florida market and was too large to discern the influences for any spikes.

Jake Marisnick #6 of the Houston Astros dives back to first base safe ahead of the tag by Clint Robinson #25 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during a spring training game at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on February 28, 2017. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images.

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