This story was originally aired by KWCH News on February 27, 2018

Rooms running short in downtown Wichita ahead of NCAA Tournament

By Kiara Ealy

WICHITA, Kan. As Intrust Bank Arena prepares to host first and second-round games of the NCAA Tournament in a couple weeks, there are only a few hotel rooms available in Old Town and some go for about $300 per night.

That's why people coming to Wichita for the games are turning to Air bnb to find a place to stay.

But as most hotels in downtown Wichita and Old Town are booked March 14-18, Airbnb locations also are starting to fill up fast.

"At this point, we are full. We are completely booked already for the tournament when it comes to our nightly stay AirBNB units," says Jason Van Sickle who owns the Flats 324 apartments in Old Town.

Van Sickle says he has nine Airbnb units in the complex that were booked about 30 days ago.

"It's been amazing," he says. "March is going to be a busy time for Wichita with the tournament. But we already see a tremendous number of people making reservations to come to the city."

Liesl Wright rents Airbnb space in her home and says she's also booked during the NCAA Tournament rounds in Wichita She says she's watched Airbnb grow in popularity, especially in Wichita.

"I have more competition than I had when I started out a couple years ago because more and more people have Airbnbs, which of course, creates more competition," she says.

Van Sickle says Airbnb lets him offer things like apartment living with hotel amenities, starting at $70 per night. Still two weeks out form the tournament, he says he has people requesting an Airbnb unit.