AirBnB up 21% in the Kootenays and generated over $18 million in revenue

AirBnB has a major economic presence in the Kootenays.

A beautiful timberframe house in Nakusp listed for rent on Airbnb, one of 2,100 Kootenay properties and homes listed on the company's website.

A beautiful timberframe house in Nakusp listed for rent on Airbnb, one of 2,100 Kootenay properties and homes listed on the company's website. — Photo courtesy AirBnB

In our survey last year we found out that US-based Airbnb has a major presence in the Kootenays. Airbnb continues to shake up the hospitality industry worldwide and in the region. It is, of course, an online marketplace that enables people to list, find, then rent vacation homes/rooms for a processing fee.

While local municipalities struggle with how to regulate the shared economy, assess taxes and juggle things like increased residential traffic and parking issues, Airbnb continues to grow in the Kootenay region.

In our last survey (July 2016) there were 1675 rooms and/or properties listed for rent through Airbnb in the Kootenays and in this year's survey (October 2017) the number is up to 2100 rentals – that is a 21% increase.

Airbnb claims that the typical property on their service is rented out 50 nights a year, 2,100 rentals times 50 nights equals 105,000 room nights rented – times the average rate of $172 per night equals just over $18 million economic activity or revenue generated by the web-based service.

Where's the most expensive places to rent an Airbnb room in the Kootenays? Panorama has the highest nightly rental fee at $290 (probably because listings here tend to be entire houses, not single or multiple rooms like other areas), followed by Revelstoke at $239, then Fernie at $213 per night and Rossland at $204. The most economical place to rent a room in the Kootenays on Airbnb is Cranbrook at $99 per night. Though it seems a bit strange that Cranbrook, the biggest community in Kootenays, has the least number of rentals on Airbnb. The average rental fee throughout the Kootenays per night is $172.

Here is a list of how many Airbnb rentals are available in the Kootenays—listed by how many rentals are listed in the community as well as the average nightly rental room fee being charged in that community:

  • Castlegar/S. Slocan—281 rentals, average nightly rental: $134
  • Sparwood/Elkford—280 rentals, average nightly rental: $198
  • Fernie—237 rentals, average nightly rental: $213
  • Nelson—163 rentals, average nightly rental: $115
  • Golden—159 rentals, average nightly rental: $187
  • Invermere —144 rentals, average nightly rental: $156
  • Revelstoke—134 rentals, average nightly rental: $239
  • Trail—104 rentals, average nightly rental: $178
  • Kimberley—84 rentals, average nightly rental: $148
  • Rossland—81 rentals, average nightly rental: $204
  • Radium Hot Springs— 57 rentals, average nightly rental: $139
  • Nakusp--- 51 rentals, average nightly rental: $143
  • Grand Forks—46 rentals, average nightly rental: $163
  • Panorama— 45 rentals, average nightly rental: $290
  • Greenwood – 44 rentals, average nightly rental: $136
  • Canal Flats—39 rentals, average nightly rental: $178
  • Kaslo—36 rentals, average nightly rental: $159
  • Christina Lake—31 rentals, average nightly rental: $192
  • Fairmont Hot Springs—26 rentals, average nightly rental: $218
  • Creston—20 rentals, average nightly rental: $116
  • Cranbrook—19 rentals, average nightly rental: $99
  • New Denver—19 rentals, average nightly rental: $180

This information, of course, is constantly changing. The numbers here represent a snapshot taken as of Monday, October 10, 2017. There might be some overlap in this survey as some towns also list rooms in neighbouring communities – and seasonality might also be at play as the ski resort towns have the highest rental fees.

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