Homeowners look to cash in on Ryder Cup rentals

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) It's hard to imagine a more prime location for an out-of-town Ryder Cup spectator to spend the night than Jason Wendlandt's two-bedroom home.

It's 80 feet from the main entrance to Hazeltine National, the course in the Minneapolis suburb of Chaska that's hosting the prestigious international golf tournament this weekend. It's well inside the tight, extended security perimeter.

And it's $900 a night, sleeps four people and offers a view over Lake Hazeltine.

With most of the area's 41,000 hotel rooms already booked, hopeful homeowners near and not-so-near the course are hoping to cash in, listing their homes on Airbnb, Craigslist and other vacation rental sites. However, they're finding out that asking for hundreds of dollars a day isn't the same thing as getting that much.

Twenty-five people looked at Wendlandt's Airbnb listing on Sunday alone. A neighbor with a similar house got $5,500 for the week, he said, but no one had asked to stay in his home by Monday. He's already dropped the price once but knows time is running out with the first round slated to start Friday.

''I've been told by people who've been around the world and done stuff like this that anything can happen,'' he said. ''So we'll see what happens.''

David Newman didn't list his three-bedroom town house on Airbnb until four weeks ago. He's had lots of viewers but no takers for his $719-a-night listing, which is 3 miles away from Hazeltine.

''I think people had already made a lot of their travel plans prior to that,'' he said.

If Kari Bouavichith finds a renter for her home, which is a mile from the course, she said she'll use the $600-a-night for living expenses. She's a nurse at a hospital where fellow nurses have been on strike for three weeks. She's currently on medical leave but is pessimistic about a settlement before she's due back in less than two weeks.

''I just thought if I could make some quick cash I'd go for it,'' she said.

Encouraged by a neighbor who found a renter about a month ago, Natalie Jamison recently registered her three-bedroom home on Airbnb. She's asking $975 a night and lives about 2 miles from Hazeltine, but the listing is in walking distance of a shuttle bus stop to the course.

She'd use the money for plane tickets for Christmas vacation, when Jamison and her husband plan to visit his family in his native New Zealand. The long flights there are especially expensive over the holidays, she said.

Wendlandt said having the Ryder Cup played a pitch shot away from his home is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so either way he wins.

''If it doesn't rent, I'll just enjoy going to the Ryder Cup,'' he said. ''And entertaining friends going there.''