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Airbnb booms in rural Indiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Rural Indiana is a seeing a boom in Airbnb, according to a recent report.

The popular home sharing application sent the report out stating about 12,000 people in rural areas in Indiana use its service.

Over one year, these areas have made $1.3 million, which breaks down to nearly $3,500 for each home host.

“This is found money, this is money that otherwise would not exist for some of these middle class families,” said Chris Lehane, head of global policy at Airbnb.

He said home hosts in rural Indiana bring the benefits of tourism there that have historically not benefited from it and anticipates that what’s going on in Indiana and all across rural America will continue.

Dan Kippur, a South Bend Airbnb home host, said he’s not surprised with the amount of money that these areas have brought in. These home hosts have a hand in helping the community by pointing their guests to local businesses.

“We get to show off the city here, we’re nice and close all of the shopping, every restaurant known to mankind is right between Main and Grape.”

He rents rooms in his home, many of his guests being Notre Dame fans.

Lehane said just in one football weekend, South Bend home hosts totals close to $1 million. However, Kippur and other home hosts in South Bend don’t meet the criteria for the ‘Beyond Cities’ report.

But Kippur strives to provide the same experience that one would get in rural areas.

“We want them to feel completely at home and we want them to be fully relaxed when they’re here,” said Kippur.

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