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Airbnb and Vrbo are overloaded with reservations

After a year of being cooped up at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans are taking a cue from...

Posted: Mar 28, 2021 9:35 AM

After a year of being cooped up at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans are taking a cue from 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction nominee The Go-Go's.

"Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, had to get away."

People are hitting the roads and airports for Spring Break trips this coming week and are already starting to make plans for the summer. And that's good news for companies like Airbnb and its home sharing rival Vrbo, which is owned by online travel giant Expedia.

Shares of Airbnb are up more than 20% this year following 2020's successful initial public offering, while Expedia has soared more than 30%.

Airlines and hotel stocks have surged as well. United and Southwest are each up more than 30% in 2021. Hilton and Marriott have both gained about 10%.

Consumers clearly want to start taking trips again, especially as more adults are vaccinated.

"We've had a phenomenal recovery," said Vrbo president Jeff Hurst in an interview with CNN Business. "We could be looking at a real boom period for leisure travel."

A resurgence in vacations could lift all boats in the sector. Hurst, who also serves as Expedia's co-lead of marketing, said the company's numerous other brands, which include Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz and Hotwire, are starting to bounce back too.

"More people are searching for core urban destinations that had a falling out during the pandemic. People are interested in going to Las Vegas again," Hurst said, adding that there is a certain degree of freedom that people who have already gotten coronavirus shots now feel.

"People will start booking more flights and hotels and resorts will have a big comeback," he said.

But there will be also some people that will want to drive a few hours to go to a rental house in the woods as opposed to flying to a beach or mountain resort and staying in a fancy hotel.

Hurst said Vrbo, which was founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals By Owner, is off to its best start to a year in a quarter century in the United States, adding that people are also starting to book summer trips significantly earlier than usual.

Airbnb is booming too. The company said earlier this month "that guests are increasingly looking for ways to safely reunite and meaningfully connect with loved ones" and its hosts have earned a combined $1 billion since the start of the pandemic last year.

Places like southern Maine, the Jersey Shore, the suburbs of Austin, northern Arizona and — of course, the beaches of Florida — are hot spots for travelers, according to Airbnb.

Vrbo's Hurst said that another trend he is seeing is the rise of the so-called "flexcation." More people are willing to go away for longer periods of time.

The increased work from home trend and availability of virtual schooling is making it more desirable for people to be away from home for several weeks ... or even months.

The jobs recovery may be gaining speed

The US jobs report is the big event on the calendar next week.

Investors will be looking to see if the economy can improve on the 379,000 jobs created in February. Figures for March will be published at 8:30 a.m. ET on Friday.

How will investors react? Well ... they won't. At least not right away. US markets will be closed for Good Friday, which is not a federal holiday.

The unemployment rate now stands at 6.2% compared to last April's peak of 14.7%. But there could be more improvement on Friday.

"With recent robust survey data pointing to upbeat business confidence, buoyed by the vaccine rollout and new $1.9 trillion stimulus measures, hiring is likely to have remained solid in March," said analysts at IHS Markit.

Capital Economics said the labor market recovery probably "kicked into a higher gear" in March, driven by a rebound in leisure and hospitality hiring as states including Texas lifted restrictions on businesses and restaurants.

"The continued rebound in the OpenTable restaurant dining data suggests the recovery in employment at bars and restaurants is gathering pace, consistent with overall leisure sector employment," senior US economist Andrew Hunter wrote in a research note.

Capital Economics predicts that 700,000 jobs were added to the economy in March, which would be the best month since September.

Up next

Tuesday: US consumer confidence; BioNTech, BlackBerry and Lululemon Athletica earnings

Wednesday: EIA crude inventories; Walgreens Boots Alliance and Micron earnings; Deliveroo IPO

Thursday: ISM Manufacturing Index; US jobless claims; CarMax earnings

Friday: Jobs report for March; US markets closed for Good Friday

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 205154

Reported Deaths: 2730
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40141612
Washington26650247
Marion23258322
Clackamas18773234
Lane13777158
Jackson11420146
Deschutes994080
Umatilla851786
Linn551779
Klamath475377
Yamhill475079
Polk393755
Douglas379780
Malheur359763
Josephine353272
Benton324022
Jefferson235738
Coos215737
Columbia188829
Union148824
Wasco143429
Lincoln141221
Crook127623
Hood River121533
Morrow115216
Clatsop10318
Baker99315
Curry68510
Tillamook6604
Grant5487
Lake4667
Harney4239
Wallowa1945
Gilliam751
Sherman661
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3803094

Reported Deaths: 63204
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124643624433
Riverside3013294620
San Bernardino2990144788
San Diego2813133770
Orange2727455103
Santa Clara1199462177
Kern1106171400
Sacramento1073951723
Fresno1027951720
Alameda893401285
Ventura815721028
San Joaquin744191432
Contra Costa70358810
Stanislaus632661068
Tulare49758849
Monterey43804420
San Mateo42611581
San Francisco37197555
Santa Barbara34577460
Solano33625266
Merced32272474
Sonoma30688323
Imperial28800741
Placer23383299
Kings23170247
San Luis Obispo21411261
Madera16590245
Santa Cruz16206208
Marin14184229
Yolo14120212
Shasta12599232
Butte12586194
El Dorado10351116
Napa999580
Sutter9628112
Yuba646150
San Benito610263
Lassen577524
Tehama571663
Nevada488375
Humboldt443446
Mendocino428250
Tuolumne419970
Amador372147
Lake355645
Glenn242527
Siskiyou239037
Colusa227918
Calaveras220156
Del Norte14528
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7356
Modoc5344
Mariposa4647
Trinity4175
Sierra1130
Alpine890
Unassigned370
Medford
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 74°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 74°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 74°
Klamath Falls
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 66°

Tonight: Today was our first dry day in a while, although we can't rule out a stray shower or thunderstorm popping up in extreme northern portions of Lake or Klamath counties. Models are hinting that most of this should stay to our north, towards the Bend area. Any lingering clouds today will quickly dissipate by the evening. However, it could prove to be a breezy night in portions of Siskiyou County. Low temperatures will drop down to the upper 30s to low 40s in Northern California, the Klamath Basin, and in the Cascades. Along the coast and in the Rogue Valley, lows will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.

Tomorrow: Our Wednesday will be substantially warmer compared to our Tuesday. Relief from the heat in the form of cloud cover will be absent. High temperatures will be in the upper 80s to low 90s in the Rogue Valley and in Northern California. Highs will be in the mid 80s in the Klamath Basin, mid 70s in the Cascades, and in the upper 60s to low 70s along the coast. The breezy conditions in Siskiyou County from tonight will carry over into Wednesday, and gusts could reach 25 mph in some coastal communities as well. 

Extended: Thursday will be even hotter than Wednesday, and it'll just be a continuation of the stale weather pattern we're about to be in. Skies should remain clear for the forseeable future, and blistering heat looks to be in store for the weekend. We could be talking about high temperature in the upper 90s to triple digits in the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou County. Highs could be in the 90s in the Klamath Basin, in the 80s in the Cascades, and in the 70s along the coast.

Most of the beneficial rain that fell over the weekend was concentrated over the coast, meaning that drought conditions probably didn't improve much in the Rogue Valley and points eastward. As we stay dry and hot throughout the rest of the week, we'll be watching for the return of favorable fire conditions, especially in Lake County. The good news is that winds appear to be light towards the end of the week, which should limit the wildfire threat to some degree.

A FREEZE WARNING has been issued for our westside valleys in Jackson, Josephine and Curry Counties until 8 AM Wednesday. Low temperatures in these areas will fall down to near and even below freezing overnight. The coldest temperatures will be in the Applegate and Illinois Valley where temperatures could dip into the upper 20s. With widespread frost and possible freezing temperatures, be sure to protect and cover any sensitive plants.
Tonight: The clear and warm day will give way to a clear and mild evening. Temperatures for inland areas this evening will stay solidly in the 50s and 60s through the 8 P.M. hour, meaning this will be a near picture perfect evening for a barbecue or Wednesday evening walk. Overnight low temperatures will also stay more mild than recently, falling into the mid to upper 30s in our westside valleys with mid to upper 20s east of the Cascades. The coast will see temperatures staying in the 40s through the overnight hours. 
Extended: Beyond Wednesday, we'll see a very gradual and slow cooling trend through the rest of the workweek, but temperatures will remain above average. Easter Weekend will start off dry, but clouds will increase and by Easter Sunday, we could be looking at some chances for rain for at least parts of our region. We'll be keeping a close eye on this system and your holiday weekend forecast. It's possible wet weather could continue into next week with cooler temperatures.

Stay updated on the StormWatch 12 forecast on-air and online.

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