LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)- As the Kentucky Derby approaches, finding a vacant hotel room in Louisville is becoming harder and harder. Many hotels around the city are sold out or close to it for this weekend.
'And the ones that aren't completely sold out, have a handful of rooms remaining,' said Michael Howerton, president of the Greater Louisville Hotel and Lodging Association. 'There are rooms in Louisville to go into, but far fewer than normal.'
The demand for rooms is high during Derby week. Zach Everson, who lives in the Highlands, realized the high prices last year when he rented out his house.
He made thousands of dollars in just a few days from a group of out-of-town travelers who chose not to stay in a hotel.
'It would be nice to just enjoy Derby, but then we think about that money and it's pretty clear cut it's a good way to make some money,' said Everson. 'And it forces you to do a good spring cleaning.'
Finding a place to stay other than a hotel is as easy as going online. There are several websites offering services for travelers. Some of the more popular websites are Airbnb, Home Away from Home and I Stop Over, where people can find 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom or an entire house to rent for a few days.
It is such a lucrative business; Everson started his own website, Kentucky Derby Home Rental. He now has several other home owners who participate on his website.
As for having strangers staying in Everson's home for a couple days, he says he is not too worried about it.
'I'm not too concerned, we are a young couple and we don't have much,' said Everson. 'But we did take some precautions for that. We did put our breakable stuff down in the basement.'
For photos, stories and coverage of Derby 137, and Derbys past, including hats, fashion, history, contenders and more, visit the WHAS11 Kentucky Derby page!