South by Southwest is the time when the city of Austin, Texas goes absolutely bonkers. It’s not only the time for the biggest film and music festivals in the country, but also the period where the tech elite fly south for networking in a new climate. People are already competing for flights and hotels — and the event isn’t even until next March.
That’s why the findings of Stay 22 — a company that offers lodging in proximity to events — aren’t so surprising. In a recent blog post, the company found out that hosts of Airbnbs in the area near SXSW shoot up to four times more than their normal rates.
It’s an example “surge pricing,” the nefarious term popularized by Uber to indicate increased pricing when there’s high demand, and it turns a house that’s normally $300 per night into a $1200 per night necessity.
Stay 22’s SXSW map is embedded below:
Granted, the proximity to SXSW is what’s really for rent, here, but it’s still shockingly steep. Attendees are ponying up for extra cash in order to avoid taking event shuttles, renting cars, or relying on bikes and scooters throughout the time they’re in town.
Those are added expenses that could help tip the scales in favor of a closer place to stay, although it’s hardly likely that it’ll be cost effective when hosts are demanding so much for their places.
It’s another example of the tech economy at work: providers are giving you what you want at a premium simply because if you won’t put up with it, someone else will.
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