Nebraskans turning to Airbnb for eclipse

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. -- Solar eclipse weekend is just around the corner

"All of the hotels here in North Platte, and the surrounding areas in Nebraska, have been booked for some time now," Muriel Clark, the assistant director of the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau, said.

You can still book your eclipse trip by staying at locals apartments or homes like this one listed on Airbnb, or instead of using traditional hospitality establishments, like hotels, Gothenburg residents like, Dale Franzen, are using the online service Airbnb.

"I think it's excellent that you get to meet some of the people and know their lifestyle, what they do for a living and see first-hand that Nebraska is a great place to visit," Franzen said.

Airbnb is a peer-to-peer sharing network, it allows locals to rent out their home, apartment, or extra rooms to travelers.

"You put your listing up there, the traveler contacts you, you can look at their bio to see if their identity is verified, see if any other hosts have recommended them and decide whether or not to rent to them," Clark said.

"We're asking $350 for both rooms, and bathrooms. If guests want to use our kitchen or living area they are more than welcome to," Franzen said.

Then, you can decide if you want to rent your space to them, "If you decide to rent, money is taken from the guest and it's held for you until they check-in and the day after they do it's automatically deposited into your account," Clark explained.

Your detailed information is kept private until that transaction with a guest is made. "The location of your home, your personal email, personal last name, all of your detailed information is not available to visitor until they actually book," Clark said.

Clark said Airbnb gives visitors a chance to truly experience the area, "they want to stay in people's homes and get to know the people in the area."

And with the Visitors Bureau is preparing for 50,000 people to come to Lincoln county eclipse weekend, it allows small towns to welcome more tourists, "It can build that lodging capacity without building additional infrastructure," Clark explained.

Hosts set the lodging price per night, and for eclipse weekend, prices vary from $300 to $1,500 a night, but don't forget, you are subject to lodging taxes and sales taxes.

"In order to have a level playing field with our Airbnb host to our hotels they need to incorporate the cost of that tax into their rate and be sure to submit that," Clark said.

Click here to access the Airbnb website.