Michigan City ranks ahead of large cities such as Fort Wayne (253,000 population) and Evansville (117,000 population) as well as cities with major universities like Muncie (70,000 population) and Terre Haute (60,000 population)
Airbnb.com is a website that allows travelers to lease or rent lodging spaces, short-term from homeowners. This includes vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds or hotel rooms. The company was founded in San Francisco in 2008 by CEOs Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia. Their goal was to make people feel welcomed to the community they travel to.
Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer said that he was not surprised by airbnb’s statistics.
“We have Washington Park and we’re within walking distance of the lakefront ... sometimes it’s not the bigger cities that appeal to people,” he said.
A study by airbnb showed that there are more than 50 Michigan City residents who lend their homes to travelers, welcoming around 2,700 guests per year. The average hosts makes about $6,800 annually in supplemental income. Mayor Meer hopes that this achievement will promote the city’s popularity.
“We forecasted this five years ago when we were working with our redevelopment and infrastructure team. I see this as a way to show off the city and hopefully we will be able to see the city improve,” Meer said.