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Lancaster County Airbnb revenue nearly doubles in 2019
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Lancaster County Airbnb revenue nearly doubles in 2019

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As the debate rages over proposed city regulations on short-term rentals, one of the main companies facilitating such stays said its local business continued to grow by leaps and bounds last year.

Airbnb announced Monday that property owners in Lancaster County hosted more than 22,000 stays and made $2.1 million in 2019. That was nearly double the $1.1 million local property owners made in 2018.

Douglas County also saw a big jump in host revenue, growing from $4.9 million in 2018 to $7.1 million last year.

The company said it did not have 2019 data for all of Nebraska, but the top 10 counties in the state cumulatively had more than $10.5 million in host earnings. In 2018, host revenue for the entire state was $7.6 million.

City's draft rules for short-term rentals like Airbnb in Lincoln an 'overreach,' owners say

“Last year was a big year for Airbnb in Nebraska -- with more travelers than ever before taking advantage of the unique and affordable options that Airbnb offers, while Nebraskans embraced the large economic opportunity that hosting presents,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb senior policy director, said in a news release.

“As we jump into a new year, we’re proud of the role our hosts play in expanding lodging capacity during heavy travel weekends, while contributing valuable tax revenue to the state. We hope these insights inspire other Nebraska families to consider becoming Airbnb hosts.”

City Hall: New regulation on short-term rentals in Lincoln could help neighbors fight them in Capitol Beach

The number of local Airbnb rentals has more than tripled since 2017 and host revenue has more than quadrupled. That's despite city zoning regulations that previously technically outlawed most of the rentals.

The Nebraska Legislature passed a law last spring that prohibited cities from banning short-term rentals outright, so city officials have proposed new regulations that would allow short-term rentals for up to 30 days, but only in owner-occupied properties.

Suit targets short-term rentals at Capitol Beach in Lincoln

Some people who own rental properties have said the regulations are too restrictive.

The city is hosting an open house Wednesday from 5-6:30 p.m. at Cavett Elementary to discuss the proposed regulations.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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