Fayetteville Airbnb Hosts Shocked By 2016 Numbers

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The company Airbnb announced that Arkansas earned nearly $4 million in supplemental income in 2016 from it's nearly 34,000 travelers that used the service.

Out of that 34,000 more than 7,500 stayed in Fayetteville making it the most popular place to stay in the state.

The company said Little Rock saw more than 4,100 guests and Hot Springs had nearly 3,400.

Melissa Thomey used to live in Hot Springs, but now has an Airbnb space in her home on North Washington Avenue.

“Actually I’m shocked and I figured Hot Springs would have had more people," said Thomey, "But you get the university, you get people coming for Walmart. I get quite a few people coming in to work. There’s Crystal Bridges, there’s hiking, there’s just a lot to do up here.”

When she decided to rent her extra space on the site, she said she did not realize how many people used it.

She says many of her guests come from surrounding states like Texas or Oklahoma.

Thomey explained many are in the area just to get away or to do something with the university.

Hosts Andrew D'Acquisto and Doris Nellon said the same thing.

They have rented their extra South Hill apartment for the past six months.

They said the space they, and others on the site, provide can give something that maybe a hotel could not.

“When they are here maybe they feel more like they belong, you know that they’re at home," said D'Acquisto.

The couple said seeing these high numbers is a good thing for the state.

“Arkansas is like a well kept secret in the U.S. A lot of people are finding out that Arkansas is the natural state," said Nellon, "There’s just so many things to do here in our state.”

Airbnb said Fayetteville earned close to $907,000, with Little Rock following at $456,200, and Hot Springs earning $362,900.

 

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