Chattanooga area Airbnb hosts are cashing in on room rentals

The guest bedroom has been prepared for the next Airbnb guest Thursday, May 25, 2017, at Olivia Karavatakis' Highland Park home in Chattanooga.

Chattanoogans and their neighbors are making a bundle on bed space.

In 2017, some 53,000 people visiting Chattanooga booked rooms through internet company Airbnb, earning local hosts some $5.2 million, the company said Thursday. That's compared to 24,600 guests and $2.5 million in 2016.

Another 10,000 or so stayed in towns such as Lookout Mountain, Cleveland and Ooltewah, the company said. This year, Chattanooga is the No. 4 home-sharing market in Tennessee, behind Nashville, Memphis and Sevierville, Airbnb spokesman Benjamin Breit said in a news release.

"Nearly all of the cities in the Chattanooga region achieved over 100 percent year-over-year growth in guest arrivals," Breit said in the release.

photo Phil Cross poses for a photo in the living room of his Chattanooga, Tenn.,