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Cubs’ playoff run provides a bump for Airbnb

The Cubs’ playoff run is boosting business for Airbnb hosts on the North Side, the home-sharing network says.

The number of people using the service to find a place to say in Chicago was up this past weekend — when the Cubs played the Los Angeles Dodges at Wrigley Field in games 1 and 2 of the National League championship series — to around 10,000, according to Ben Breit, a spokesman for the company. That’s up about 25 percent over a typical weekend, Breit said Monday.

Prices haven’t gone up, with the median per-night rate over the weekend in Chicago around $100, which is “business as usual,” according to Breit.

But that’s with more people signing up as Airbnb “hosts.” Breit said the number of people offering part or all of their homes through the service in Wrigleyville, Lakeview, Boystown, Roscoe Village, North Center, Uptown and Buena Park is up 6.6 percent in the past month and a half.

“I think it’s fair to say that this increase has a lot to do with the Cubs,” Breit said. “Clearly, folks are excited about the Cubs’ run, and people who happen to have an extra bedroom to share are recognizing a unique economic opportunity.”

“The Cubs in the playoffs is the one and only reason I listed my house,” said Joseph Vogenthaler, a lifelong Chicagoan who already had been listing a two-bedroom apartment he owns and added his own home three weeks ago.

“I am hoping to use the funds from renting it to get tickets to the World Series,” Vogenthaler said.

The Wrigley Hostel, 3514 N. Sheffield Ave., was completely booked this past weekend, all 105 beds, according to manager Kimberly Mitchell, even after raising rates to take advantage of the heavy demand.

“We were basically all booked before the weekend began,” Mitchell said.

Hotels are expecting bigger business if the Cubs make it to the World Series. Already, the Peninsula Hotel, 108 E. Superior St., is seeing bookings go up, according to Susan Ellefson, a spokeswoman for the Gold Coast hotel.

“Traditionally, the week leading up to Halloween, the hotel has not had the demand,” Ellefson said. “But this year we are seeing an increased demand.”

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