By Megan Seckman
Ah, Derby. If you’re a native Louisvillian, you can almost chart the progression of your life in correspondence with this spectacular event. As a child you may remember vividly the parades, the parties you went to with your family and friends, the first time your dad taught you to read the racing form, your first win. As a young adult you remember (maybe a little more spotty this time) your first experience in the infield, piecing together your first bonafide hat, perhaps your first swig of a mint julep, your first loss. And now, here you are: a homeowner, perhaps a mother or a professional with the question: What’s next for me this Derby season?
Derby may seem like an extravagance at this stage in your life. Maybe you’ve already “been there, done that.” The crowds, the outfit, the endless food and drink may not seem that appealing this year. But it’s still Derby, and as a Louisvillian, you still want a little piece of the action.
Derby-girl, meet your next stage: Derby house rentals.
A co-worker introduced Lynsey Trager, 31, a ‘media whiz’ with Boxcar PR, to the idea of renting out her house for Derby weekend.
|Renting out their home during Derby has been lucrative for Lynsey and her husband. Photos by Sunni Wigginton|
“Since I work in PR and am always busy and never even home around Derby, I thought it would be a great way to make some extra money, Lynsey says. “It was very easy. The service gave me a checklist to follow: post pictures, take out valuables, leave a few toiletries, clean out the fridge…but the company handled all the documents. They welcomed the guests and did the walk-though.”
For Lynsey’s typical 1,800-square-foot St. Matthews home, she and her husband made $3,500 for the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights surrounding Derby.
Not too shabby for one weekend.
Last year, Lynsey and her husband stayed with friends that lived close by, but this year they are going to use their earnings to attend Oaks and possibly Derby. And unless they are some serious gamblers, they will still come out ahead.
Several sites, including DerbyVIP.com, offer assistance in renting Derby homes. One site, louisvillederbyhomerental.com, will advertise your home for $250 and claims that homes in the Highlands, Crescent Hill, and Old Louisville go for $3,000-$10,000 for the weekend. The closer the accessibility to the track, bars, and favorite Louisville restaurants, the better. You can also provide concierge services or simply skip town.
If you are considering renting your home for next year, the sooner the better — many prospective Derby-goers rent their homes the moment they return home from the wild rumpus. Because Derby, after all, is not only the greatest two minutes of sports, it’s intoxicating. Why not capitalize on all the fun by showing out of towners a bit of authentic Louisville culture?