1984: Before Airbnb and VRBO, race fans relied on people like Mim Cork

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Posted at 5:32 AM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 05:32:09-04

SPEEDWAY — Attending "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" typically involves a lot of planning: tickets, food, adult beverages, sunscreen, and for the out of towners, lodging.

Rental apps make finding a place to stay much easier today than it was 40 years ago. Before Airbnb and VRBO, word-of-mouth was the only way to find a place to stay, and one of Speedway’s most accommodating hosts was a woman named Mim Cork.

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Cork rented three rooms inside her Speedway home to guests for nearly two decades. Cork opted to sleep on the couch while guests used her room. WRTV reporter Marilyn Mitzell visited Cork and asked why she welcomed strangers into her home.

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“Fun, excitement,” Cork said. “I like people and you get a big assortment of them. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Crashing at Cork’s home was a bargain, too. The Speedway resident charged just $15 per night, per person, and only $5 for a space just two blocks from the speedway. Oh, and Cork also cooked.

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“It isn’t the best of conditions but they’re happy and they always get a good breakfast to go over there,” Cork said.

Cork’s accommodations were so popular that she often referred inquiries to her neighbors. She also told WRTV that she never had a bad guest.

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“I never (ask), ‘Do you smoke, drink, whatever,’ I just look at them. I’ve never been shafted in my life, so I don’t think it’s going to start now.”