Hotels and renters gear up for ND football

By: Ryan Famuliner Email
By: Ryan Famuliner Email

As each football season rolls around, many drop hundreds of dollars for tickets to Notre Dame games, but that's just the beginning.

Out-of-towners can find themselves dropping hundreds and thousands more just for a place to sleep at night.

It's common for hotels in the area to raise their prices during a home game weekend, and many close to the stadium require Irish fans to stay for at least 2 nights at that raised price.

But when it comes down to it, it's just good business

This summer, you could have stayed at the Knights Inn in Roseland for a week for $229. Come next weekend, that will get you one night.

“Those people coming in from out of town, for the experience, and all the tradition, they’re willing to pay for it,” said Katie Hibbs, who works at the Knights Inn.

The Knight's Inn is just playing the same game as everyone else in town - other hotels charge upwards of $500 a night during a home game weekend.

With that kind of money to be made, some people use the internet to rent out their homes for the weekend

And for one local investor - filling this niche has paid dividends.

“If I’m standing right here I can hear the roar of the crowd from the stadium,” said Jason Cook of Blue & Gold rentals.

Cook's real estate company owns 9 properties they only use for short-term rentals, something a certain school nearby makes possible. He also says the key to renting the properties for the short time is to allow them to sleep many people – to make them a better value than a hotel room. Many of the rooms are set up like a dorm room, with two small beds, so each person can sleep in their own bed.

“This house will sleep up to 14, and for the Georgia Tech Game we’re taking in $2800, and for the USC game it’s $3000 ...it’s taking in anywhere between $1500 to $3000 this season (per weekend),” Cook said.

Combine that with some extra money from graduations, and homes like these can pull in nearly 30 thousand dollars a year – and 340 days out of the year the house is vacant.

So, as long as the money is coming in, there are plenty of people willing to collect it.

Cook says the real estate business started about 4 years ago, but he says he doesn't see as many new investment opportunities now, because of all the growth near campus.

He says in addition to Notre Dame Alumni, some of his customers are actually the opposing team's alumni. Most of his properties have an age limit of 45 and above to rent, to help lessen the risk to the property.

The possibility for that kind of profit makes it tempting to rent your home out for the weekend. websites such as craigslist.com and ndnation.com have sections where people can list their properties to rent for free.

But, there are some risks involved, and it's important to know your renters before you make a deal. Cook says in addition to the age limits on some properties, his company does background and credit checks before allowing people to rent for the weekend.

Overall, Cook says he doesn't recommend renting out the home you live in. But if you do, he says one of the best ways to find a good, safe renter is through a recommendation from someone you know.

However, his company does offer help to those wishing to rent their properties for games. Cook says clients must be pre-approved, and interviews for the services begin in December. They offer to run the background and credit checks, take care of properties, and various services such as catering and airport pick-up.

Cook says he also sells some of the properties to customers, especially those from out-of-town. He says he expects to sell 3 of the properties they are currently renting this year.

Look below to see links to listings of homes for rent for Notre Dame games.


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