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Can Airbnb continue its popularity in Detroit?

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Michelle & Chris Gerard

For many years, Detroit visitors who want a real Detroit experience have often stayed at an Airbnb in the city. Many residents have fixed up their guest rooms, in-law suites, or carriage houses as a way to earn more income and share their Detroit experiences. Overall, Airbnb has told us that they’ve seen a 112% increase in visitors using their platform in neighborhoods all over the city in the past year.

They broke it down by neighborhood for us and have included how much hosts are making in Detroit. Here’s what they found in a few places in the city.


  • 24 listings vs.12 hotels
  • Typical annual earnings for hosts: $6,400
  • Arrivals in past year: 400
  • Year-over-year arrival growth: 968%
  • Total income earned by hosts over past year: $163,000


  • 15 listings vs. 1 hotel
  • Typical annual earnings for hosts: $9,100
  • Arrivals in past year: 710
  • Year-over-year arrival growth: 179%
  • Total income earned by hosts over past year: $185,000


  • 13 listings vs. 0 hotels
  • Typical annual earnings for hosts: $5,700
  • Arrivals in past year: 610
  • Year-over-year arrival growth: 213%
  • Total income earned by hosts over past year: $209,000

Some cities have created more restrictions around short term rentals such as Airbnb, while Detroit has remained fairly quiet about it. As long as people are willing to open up their homes, travelers will have more options for where they stay in the city.

"Airbnb’s growth in Detroit is representative of both the resurgence and authenticity of the city, as visitors from around the world are coming to experience its neighborhoods as locals do, and be a part of the Motor City’s renaissance." says Will Burns, Senior Public Policy Director at Airbnb.

Could Detroit’s increase in hotel rooms in the next few years have an impact on short-term rentals? More and more boutique hotels have been announced this year and 2018 looks to be a big year for hotel openings in the city. Will restrictions be added as more hotels open up?

As a recap, here are the hotels in the works.

  • The Foundation Hotel over by Cobo will have 99 guest rooms (ETA: Auto Show 2017)
  • West Elm is opening a 135+ room hotel in Midtown (ETA: 2018)
  • The Metropolitan building is being renovated into the Element Hotel, with 110 rooms (ETA: Summer 2018)
  • The Shinola Hotel will have 130+ rooms downtown (possibly more, considering some nearby buildings are being demoed for it).(ETA: Fall 2018)
  • The Harmonie Club building (home of the Carr Center) will also be redeveloped as the Harmonie Club Hotel with 25-30 rooms. (ETA: 2018)
  • And of course, there’s the Wurlitzer building (which we haven’t heard from in a while). Ash Design is working on turning this iconic building into a 106-room boutique hotel. (ETA: We’ll check in with them and see)