High hotel rates in Odessa forcing guests to seek alternatives

ODESSA -- Soaring hotel rates have some Odessa visitors opting for a cheaper place to stay.

Image: Airbnb Search

One of these options is Airbnb.

Odessa teacher Lindsey Lee says Airbnb can be a great alternative to pricey hotels.

Lee said she paid around $90 to stay several days in San Antonio.

“We took another trip to san Antonio for a teacher’s convention and we all got to rent a room together. It’s very economically priced,” she said.

Airbnb allows travelers to book a room at another person’s home. And according to Odessa Airbnb proprietor, Jonny Wyall, business is booming in the Permian Basin.

“It runs a 95 percent occupancy rate about,” he said.

Wyall has used Airbnb to find guests for his home for the past two years.

“Every day I get home from work, I clean it, and the guest is there by five,” he said.

There are around 40 rooms and homes to rent on Airbnb in Odessa.

“It’s always going to be a better deal than a hotel. Should be 75% the cost of a hotel,” Wyall said.

A recent survey conducted by cheaphotels.org found that hotel costs in Odessa are among the highest in the nation at nearly $200 a night.

“If you do a search you can stay for $30 in a one bedroom, somebody renting out of their house. All the way to a full house! There’s a lot of options,” Airbnb patron Lara Buckingham said.

Business has been good with Airbnb. Wyall and his family decided to purchase and renovate a second home just for Airbnb visitors.

“We renovated it in like one month. I even listed it before we had closed on it. And had to pull four all-nighters to finish it,” he said.

Midland and several surrounding cities also have Airbnb’s listed. The website recommends that you do not communicate or pay outside of the app.