TAKE THAT, HOTELS
If nothing else, Airbnb isn’t shy. In a missive sent this week, the company accused hotels of gouging during commencement exercises, squeezing proud families of graduates even more than they’ve already been squeezed by tuition, educational loans, Domino’s pizza tabs and the like. And the number of Airbnb guests in college towns including Evanston, Wheaton and Peoria hit record levels for the company during recent commencement exercises, Ben Breit, a company spokesman says. “The only reason Carbondale isn’t on there is because of the eclipse last year,” Breit says. Airbnb bookings in Springfield also hit an all-time high during last year’s eclipse, Breit says, but 70 Airbnb guests stayed in Springfield during May 12 commencement exercises at University of Illinois Springfield, a spike of 32 percent over the previous week. Stay tuned. The biggest surge ever in Airbnb bookings is shaping up for the first week in August. Breit, who isn’t from here, wonders whether it has something to do with a re-creation of an 1860 Wide Awakes parade scheduled for Aug. 4, with participants marching from Lincoln’s home to the Old State Capitol. We think the National Bikers Roundup, a gathering of motorcyclists from throughout the nation scheduled for the state fairgrounds from Aug. 1 through Aug. 5, is the more likely explanation.