People across Milwaukee preparing rentals, Airbnbs for 2024 RNC

For many Milwakeeans, the RNC is an opportunity to make extra money by renting out their homes to attendees.
Posted at 9:55 AM, Mar 06, 2024

MILWAUKEE — Nearly 50,000 people are expected to make their way to Milwaukee during the Republican National Convention in July, and many of those people will need a place to stay.

For many Milwaukeeans, the RNC is an opportunity to make extra money by renting out their homes to attendees.

According to the Airbnb site, there are more than 600 short-term rental properties available in the Milwaukee area from July 15-18.

Jake Dehne is an Airbnb operator and local business owner. He owns seven properties in the RNC’s secure zone, many of which are right across from Fiserv Forum and Turner Hall.

“With how competitive the market is, location is key. We kind of went through this with the DNC and were fully booked four to five months out,” Dehne explained.

One of his properties, with two bedrooms and one bathroom, usually costs a little more than $100 per night. During the RNC, he said it would be closer to more than $1,000 per night.

And it’s not just downtown.

Adrian Johnson owns a rental roughly four miles away from the secure zone, near Capitol Drive.

“We’ve had the listing on there since day one because I knew the RNC was coming and I know that it’s going to be sold out everywhere,” Johnson said.

The super host said the price of his stay will likely increase during the convention to meet the demand.

“We’re excited for people to come see the new developments and bring a lot of revenue,” Johnson smiled.

The price per night for a rental on the Airbnb website varies from just $50 per night to well beyond $1,000 per night all across the city. Other sites like VRBO and even Craigslist are similar.

The City’s Department of Neighborhood Servies said Airbnbs must have a tourist rooming house license, but that they will not be further regulating short-term rentals ahead of the RNC.

While Airbnb didn’t have numbers for how many people have already booked units in Milwaukee, a spokesperson shared this statement:

“These high-demand, peak travel times, like for Milwaukee over the RNC will result in significant income for Hosts and the local community– and these major events can offer a great starting point for many prospective Hosts, not just existing Hosts, as well.”

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