Oak Park was the fourth most popular destination for Airbnb rentals in the state of Illinois in 2017, following Chicago, Evanston and Galena, according to Airbnb.
Airbnb spokesman Benjamin Breit confirmed in a telephone interview that Oak Park hosts earned approximately $934,000 in 2017 and welcomed some 6,000 guests.
Breit said the numbers are based on data from earlier in December and planned bookings through the end of the year.
Evanston earned $1.26 million from approximately 7,000 guests in 2017, and Galena Airbnb’s hosted 6,200 guests and earned $637,000, according to Breit. Information about Chicago was not immediately available.
“Oak Park was just slightly behind Galena in guest arrivals but way ahead in host income,” Breit wrote in an email.
Breit surmised that Oak Park was a popular Airbnb destination because of its proximity to downtown Chicago.
“I assume a lot of families travel and don’t want to stay at a downtown Chicago hotel,” he said.
According to Airbnb, about 120 Oak Parkers rent rooms or entire residences in the village. More than 60 percent of those rentals are single rooms, rather than the entire residence, Breit said. The typical Oak Park participant earns about $7,000 through Airbnb, according to a press release.
It is the first year Oak Park imposed a 4 percent tax on Airbnb rentals. It is expected to generate approximately $37,360.
Oak Park village trustees reasoned in 2016 that the tax would create greater parity between Airbnb and traditional bed and breakfast operations in the village.
The Oak Park Hotel/Motel and Transient Occupancy Rental Unit Tax is collected by Airbnb and forwarded to the village government.