XLVI: Pennies from Heaven for Locals

Everyone’s doing it—cashing in, that is. Unwitting visitors showing up in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl festivities will find themselves in a fishbowl. With a bunch of hungry cats staring in at them, licking their chops.

A quick search on VRBO.com (“vacation rentals by owner”) turned up pages of local listings, most at truly eye-popping rates. One place in Broad Ripple, a furnished half-duplex with three bedrooms, is being offered at $18,000 per week. A colleague tells me he knows of a downtown condo that has already rented for $8,000 per day, for six days. You do the math.

The Indianapolis Star has reported that downtown parking spaces are being offered for as much as $399 per day. And that’s unfurnished.

“I got mines,” as they say in hip-hop. A few weeks ago, an editor at American Way, the in-flight magazine of American Airlines (estimated readership: 4 million), called my office. He was desperately seeking an Indianapolis writer to knock out a Super Bowl-related cover story for the January 15 issue. Fortunately, I picked up the phone and got the assignment. Cha-ching! My regular employer, IM, even made a few simoleons selling photos for the piece. Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

A week or so later, another desperate editor, this time from NFL Magazine, called the office looking for someone to write a last-minute “local’s guide” to the city. Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

Go check out the articles—or don’t. I get paid either way.

Since first joining Indianapolis Monthly in 2000, West has written about a wide range of subjects including crime, history, arts and entertainment, pop culture, politics, and food. His feature stories have twice been noted in the Best American Sports Writing anthology and have received top honors from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The Collapse,” West’s account of the 2011 Indiana State Fair tragedy, was a 2013 National City and Regional Magazine Awards finalist in the category of Best Reporting. He lives on the near-east side.