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House-hunting Super Bowl style

Hundreds flock to the Valley, find homey accomodations

 by Ryan Calhoun
 published on Monday, January 28, 2008

<b>SUPER RENTER:</b> Former ASU business student Gabe Ostrovsky sits inside one of the many homes he is renting out to visitors attending the Superbowl in Glendale.  /issues/news/703285
Deanna Dent / THE STATE PRESS
SUPER RENTER: Former ASU business student Gabe Ostrovsky sits inside one of the many homes he is renting out to visitors attending the Superbowl in Glendale.
 

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Not all Super Bowl XLII visitors will be staying in hotels next week some will be calling other peoples' homes their own.

Hundreds of the Valley's residents are posting their homes for rent online, and vacation rental companies have snatched up condos and hotel rooms to lease.
Gabe Ostrovsky, 27, has rented more than a dozen Scottsdale homes, condos and hotel rooms.

"It's a huge market," said Ostrovsky, operations director of team investments for the rental company Player Properties and owner of G.I.O. Management Consulting.

Ostrovsky, who was a small business communications senior before he took time off to work a year ago, said many of his clients are from companies hosting events or are athletes not involved in the Super Bowl game.

"[People want to] just be here for the events," Ostrovsky said.

Ostrovsky has sold hotel rooms for $1,000 to $1,200 a night, and rented houses for $3,000 a night. The penthouse at the Hotel Valley Ho went for $23,000 for a week, he said.

To make a profit, Ostrovsky buys condos and hotel rooms early and charges an increased rate. For houses, he charges a 15 percent commission.

Business has been so lucrative, Ostrovsky plans to start a new business to rent out accommodations specifically surrounding the Super Bowl.

Randy Cooper, president of Super-week-rentals.com, said he started the Web site 10 years ago in response to the high demand for places to stay during the week of the game.

"The supply and demand was upside down [with not enough homes]," Cooper said. "We have listed about 700 homes throughout the Valley."

The site boasts hundreds of homes available for daily or weekly rental, including four in Tempe.

Another Web site, BowlGameRentals.com, also lists some of the Valley's rentable homes for the Super Bowl week.

But not everyone is sure that the Super Bowl will be a boom for renting out homes.

Lauryn Strobel, a recreation and tourism management senior, said she doesn't think the Super Bowl will effect hotels from being booked or negatively impact the city's potential to draw revenue.

"It won't effect hotels as much as you would think," Strobel said. "[Renting is] illegal if you don't have a license. So, if you rent your house out and [the renters] trash it, you can't take any legal action against them."

Tempe resident Jose Becerra said he is also skeptical.

Becerra has listed his home on Super-week-rentals.com for $3,000 a night and $21,000 for the entire week, but said he hasn't yet received any inquiries.

"I paid $500 to list my house on the Web site," Becerra said. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to get extra money, but now I just might as well consider the money lost."

Becerra plans to stay at his son's house if a visitor decides to rent his house, he said.

Though Cooper's site has listed homes over the course of the last decade, he said it wasn't a success last year for Miami's Super Bowl.

However, he said he remains optimistic about this year's event.

"The Super Bowl being in Arizona is fantastic," Cooper said. "It's the Super Bowl of all Super Bowls because of the Patriots and their perfect record."

Reach the reporter at: ryan.calhoun@asu.edu.



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