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Some Airbnb hosts run over 20 properties. Here are the 15 cities these megahosts dominate the most.

Dan Latu,Alcynna Lloyd   

Some Airbnb hosts run over 20 properties. Here are the 15 cities these megahosts dominate the most.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado.Shutterstock/Rachele A. Morlan
  • Some successful short-term-rental hosts add properties to their portfolios, creating mini empires.
  • In some cities, hosts with more than 20 listings account for 50% or more of all Airbnbs and Vrbos.

Skyrocketing demand for short-term rentals over the past four years created a gold rush of investors who purchased properties and set up new listings.

Some hosts and managers have scaled up, scooping up multiple dwellings to create mini-hospitality empires.

Analytics site AirDNA tallied the locations across the US that are dominated by these "professional hosts," a designation it gives to any host ID on Airbnb and Vrbo with more than 20 listings.

In the 15 US towns and cities AirDNA identified, more than 50% of the total short-term-rental listings across booking sites were managed by large-portfolio hosts.

Many of the locations with professional hosts are regional vacation hubs, including the seaside Oregon towns of Lincoln City and Newport and the New Mexico ski-resort destination of Ruidoso.

In popular ski destination Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for example, over 60% of the town's total short-term rental inventory is controlled by professional hosts.

Some of these places have cracked down on short-term rentals. In 2022, Steamboat Springs slapped a 9% tax on short-term-rental owners over concerns that there was a dwindling stock of affordable housing for local workers. In 2023, the town created red zones where new short-term-rental permits were banned, according to local radio outlet KUNC.

The Steamboat Springs restrictions elicited mixed reactions: Some homeowners in the new red zones said they would lose significant income if they couldn't rent out their properties, according to KUNC.

Others were more celebratory, the outlet reported.

"It's been really lovely," Steamboat Springs resident Torey Wodnik told KUNC about living in the new red zones. "We have a handful of brand new full-time, year-round neighbors who are a part of our neighborhood, part of our community, living here, working here."

New short-term rental hosts should know the locations with a large professionalized inventory, like Steamboat Springs, because it comes with both warnings and opportunities, said AirDNA economist Jamie Lane.

On the one hand, being the David against a Goliath means you will likely have to compete in multiple ways with hosts who are well-oiled machines, including finding cleaners, who may prefer the consistent work from the large-volume operators, Lane told BI. Professional hosts may also have the upper hand in offering discounts and adjusting daily rates to capture more guests.

"You're not going to out-revenue manage some of these companies," Lane said.

On the flip side, however, guest services and communication can make a small operator stand out from the pack.

Here are the 15 cities with the largest shares of Airbnb hosts that are professional companies.

15. Vail and Avon, Colorado

15. Vail and Avon, Colorado
Vail, Colorado      Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock

Avon is a year-round mountain resort community in the Eagle River Valley, against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Avon is just an eight-mile drive west of Vail, a European-style village in the White River National Forest that is home to 11 ski resorts and eight wilderness areas.

Average number of listings each month: 6,321

Percent of listings run by professional hosts: 51.2%

14. Ruidoso, New Mexico

14. Ruidoso, New Mexico
Ruidoso, New Mexico      Esdelval/Getty Images

Ruidoso is a resort town near Ski Apache, a ski mountain owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. It's also a gateway to Carlsbad Caverns, a warren of 119 underground caves, and White Sands National Monument, known for its giant fields of white sand dunes.

Average number of listings each month: 2,043

Percent of listings run by professional hosts: 51.7%

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina      John Coletti/Getty Images

Myrtle Beach sits along the Atlantic Ocean within a 60-mile stretch of coastline known as the Grand Strand. The area offers biking trails, golf courses, and the Family Kingdom amusement park.

Average listings per month: 24,061

Percent of professional hosts: 52.7%

12. Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma

12. Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma
Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma      Tamara Harding/Getty

Historically belonging to the Choctaw Nation, Broken Bow Lake sprawls across 14,000 acres along the Mountain Fork River in southeastern Oklahoma. The area's heavily forested surroundings make it a popular spot for bird watchers and hikers.

Average listings per month: 3,276

Percent of professional hosts: 53.1%

11. Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida

11. Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Destin, Florida      Moment / Getty Images

Destin and Fort Walton Beach are subtropical cities on Florida's Panhandle. These communities on the Gulf of Mexico's Emerald Coast — a 100-mile stretch of shoreline — are famed for their quartz beaches and vibrant restaurant and nightlife scenes.

Average listings per month: 10,348

Percent of professional hosts: 53.5%

10. Gulf Shores and Mobile, Alabama

10. Gulf Shores and Mobile, Alabama
Gulf Shores, Alabama      Nicholas Courtney/Shutterstock

A vacation town on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Shores is known for its sandy beaches and rich biodiversity. Mobile is Alabama's only seaport — and one of the busiest in the United States.

Average listings per month: 17,622

Percent of professional hosts: 54.1%

9. Frisco and Silverthorne, Colorado

9. Frisco and Silverthorne, Colorado
Frisco, Colorado      Margaret.Wiktor/Shutterstock

Frisco is near six ski resorts, including Copper Mountain, which has 2,500 acres of alpine terrain. Nearby, another mountain, Silverthorne, is surrounded by picturesque peaks and aspen trees.

Average listings per month: 5,697

Percent of professional hosts: 56.1%

8. Telluride, Colorado

8. Telluride, Colorado
Telluride, Colorado      Deb Snelson/Getty Images

Telluride is a ski town in a box canyon near the San Juan Mountains, part of Colorado's Rocky Mountain range. Once a mining town, it has since transformed into a nexus of luxury hotels and resorts. The town itself is recognized as a National Historic Landmark District.

Average listings per month: 1,674

Percent of professional hosts: 56.3%

7. Seaside and Rockaway Beach, Oregon

7. Seaside and Rockaway Beach, Oregon
Seaside, Oregon      Rigucci/Shutterstock

Seaside and Rockaway Beach are coastal towns along the Pacific Ocean. Seaside features a 15-foot-wide paved boardwalk that provides sweeping views of both the ocean and the Tillamook Head rainforest. Rockaway Beach lies near Neahkahnie Mountain, one of the highest peaks on the West Coast.

Average listings per month: 3,894

Percent of professional hosts: 56.4%

6. Kauai, Hawaii

6. Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, Hawaii.      IndustryAndTravel/Shutterstock

Kauai, the oldest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, is known as the Garden Island for its lush tropical landscapes. It's home to the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, a 16-mile stretch famous for its stunning beaches, sea cliffs, and waterfalls.

Average listings per month: 6,976

Percent of professional hosts: 57%

5. Santa Rosa and Rosemary Beach, Florida

5. Santa Rosa and Rosemary Beach, Florida
Santa Rosa, Florida      Joel Brouwer/Getty Images

Santa Rosa and Rosemary Beach sit along a popular stretch of Florida beaches known as 30A, named for the highway that runs parallel to it. 30A, flanked to the west by Destin and to the east by Panama City, draws families from across the South.

Average listings per month: 16,536

Percent of professional hosts: 57.7%

4. Grays Harbor, Washington

4. Grays Harbor, Washington
Grays Harbor, Washington      bpperry/Getty

Grays Harbor is an estuarine bay surrounded by several beach communities along Washington's coast. It is a gateway to the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Peninsula, home to the Hoh Rainforest, which is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States.

Average listings per month: 1,353

Percent of professional hosts: 57.8%

3. Lincoln City and Newport, Oregon

3. Lincoln City and Newport, Oregon
Newport, Oregon      Didier Marti/Getty Images

Situated on Oregon's central coast, Lincoln City and Newport boast idyllic beaches, hiking trails, and campgrounds. Fishing and seafood enthusiasts also flock to the area because Newport is known for Dungeness crab, famous for its sweet, buttery taste.

Average listings per month: 2,515

Percent of professional hosts: 58.1%

2. Steamboat Springs, Colorado

2. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs, Colorado      Mengzhonghua Photography/Getty

Steamboat is a ski town between Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone has the largest number of geysers and hot springs in the world.

Average listings per month: 3,879

Percent of professional hosts: 68.5%

1. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

1. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland      DoxaDigital/Getty Images

Bordered by Marsh Mountain, Deep Creek Lake is a man-made reservoir and the largest freshwater lake in the state. It's a short drive from Deep Creek Lake State Park, known for its cascading waterfalls and large population of bald eagles.

Average listings per month: 1,881

Percent of professional hosts: 72.8%

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