MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Homeowners and renters are hoping to make a quick buck when thousands of college basketball fans descend on the Twin Cities.

Home rentals are heating up for Final Four weekend, especially as it gets more and more difficult to find a hotel room. Siri Myhrom is renting out her 650-square foot guest house in Minneapolis.

“We just wanted to create a really cozy, welcoming space,” Myhrom said.

As an Airbnb host, her family rents out the two bedroom unit in their backyard.

“I love to make people feel like they belong and that they’re welcome,” she said.

The venture started ahead of the 2018 Super Bowl, which was quite profitable. Myhrom said they were able to book the property for $600 per night.

For the Final Four weekend, Myhrom said the unit was priced at $150 per night, much closer to their average. She said their property was booked for college basketball’s biggest weekend months ago.

“We haven’t had much trouble getting bookings,” she said.

Siri Myhrom’s guest home (credit: CBS)

Home rentals might be a basketball fan’s best bet at this point. Hotels affiliated with the Final Four are sold out. When browsing the website Hotels.com Wednesday evening, it showed more than 90 percent of hotels in and around downtown Minneapolis were fully booked.

Availability is much higher on Airbnb, but that number will quickly decrease as the field of teams in the tournament drops from 16 to four in a matter of days.

“You’re going to see fans of the schools not being able to, you know, finally book until as late as Sunday night for a game that’s coming up in a few days,” said Ben Breit from Airbnb Public Affairs.

Most Airbnb listings, like Myhrom’s, allow guests to cancel within 48 hours of purchase. That means fans of the teams remaining in the tournament can book a listing before the Sweet 16 games start without worrying about the game’s final score. But even if your team loses out, Myhrom’s hospitality could make a visit worthwhile.

“It makes me feel really proud to show people around and to have them here,” she said.

Airbnb wants to remind hosts and guests to specifically use their platform for communicating and booking. That way, you are protected against potential fraud or third party scams.

Jeff Wagner

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