CLEVELAND — All eyes will be on Cleveland for the 75th NBA All-Star Game.
“It is estimated that more than two billion people worldwide will consume some of this event. It just helps Cleveland in a lot of ways in terms of continuing to improve the perception of Cleveland,” said David Gilbert, CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.
Crews have been sprucing up downtown Cleveland for weeks to prepare the city for this week’s events.
“It’s the kind of event where people pay a lot of money to buy their tickets and come from all over the country or around the world to attend. The hotels are full, they are full at a very expensive rate,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert said one of the main reasons city leaders worked to host this year’s game: economic impact.
“It is the money that is spent. Millions and tens of millions in the production of this event. It is the money that tens of thousands of visitors spend while they are here and before,” he said.
But people who live in Cleveland also benefit. Allie Carr lives in the Ohio City neighborhood. She is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway and rented out the basement of her house for about two years.
“I thought it would be a good idea to get some income from my house that I could reinvest in it. So it really worked,” she said. “A lot of people are. Whether they’re looking for duplexes, or places that have a shed in the back, or a lower level like mine. Sometimes it’s someone who wants to be an owner-occupier. Sometimes I get people looking at it, strictly, from an investment to Airbnb.
She said she’s booked every weekend, but with big weekends like the NBA All-Star Game, that’s a game-changer in terms of how much she can get from a renter.
“I get what I would usually get in a whole month in a week,” she said.
Carr is not alone. News 5 checked websites like Airbnb and VRBO, and places like Ohio City, in Tremont, and even Lakewood, prices range from $250 a night to $2,000 a night during NBA All-Star weekend .
“I encouraged a number of friends to just dump their apartments, their houses, get out of town for the week, like RNC. A few have done it and they’re similarly getting about $2,000 for the week,” Carr said.
Gilbert said he was not surprised, but happy.
“There are 28 NBA-designated hotels all of which are, for the most part, selling out at a high rate. It fills every one of our 17 downtown hotels, as well as many hotels in the suburbs and that doesn’t include any ventilators,” he said. “This opportunity for someone to rent out their house for a lot of money, I’m thrilled to see that happening. It puts money in the pockets of local people who otherwise wouldn’t have any.
Carr said most downtown condos have rules that prohibit people from renting their units on sites like Airbnb, so she encouraged anyone interested in putting up a place to do their research and review their guests. .