Perhaps one reason that Airbnb thinks they don’t have enough hosts in Denver is because the platform has been slow to catch on here.
From 2012 to 2014, Denver gained only 50 short-term rental hosts, for a total of 390 people, a report from the Brookings Institution suggests.
In the same way that they measured the gig economy of ride-sharing, Brookings looked at self-employment in the traveller accommodation and rooming sector, which proximately measures room-sharing or hotel business.
So in Denver, their numbers suggest only 16 percent more people started using Airbnb or similar platforms to make money over the course of two years. For comparison’s sake, the Austin metro had the highest increase, with 48 percent more people from 2012 to 2014.
But maybe Denver hosts are either not claiming the income on their taxes or earn less than $1,000 a year, which would exclude them from the Brooking Institute count. A 2015 analysis from Colorado Public Radio found 1,350 hosts in the city. That would mean an annual increase of more than 300 percent from 2014 to 2015.
With new regulations requiring all Denver hosts to have a short-term rental license by December, maybe we’ll have a better indication the next time that the Census Bureau dataset on nonemployer firms comes out. See you back here next Summer!