After a highly publicized Airbnb horror story in Canada, hosts in Eastern Idaho said they have had nothing but great experiences.
Airbnb.com is a website that allows people to rent out their home on any given night to a guest, like a hotel.
Last week, a host came back to his family’s Calgary home to find it trashed by Airbnb guests. The homeowners estimate the damage will cost $150,000. Airbnb responded, promising to reimburse the couple quickly. The company has a policy that covers hosts’ homes for up to $1 million in guest-related damage.
Nancy Boland and her husband have been renting out the loft above their garage since August. With their Idaho Falls home just steps away, Boland said the experience has been flawless.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with people that have different ideas, different backgrounds and different ways to look at life,” said Boland.
Guests and hosts gain a reputation on the site by reviewing each other after stays. That process has left Boland confident she won’t have a horror story of her own one day.
“It may happen, but I really don’t anticipate it,” said Boland. “There’s a certain mentality of people who use Airbnb and it’s overwhelmingly positive.”
Boland’s loft, listed at $59 per night, is complete with a kitchen stocked with plenty of dishes and appliance, as well as cable TV and Netflix.
“I’m pretty much a stickler about it’s hotel clean or better,” said Boland.
The Bolands also open up the courtyard behind their home to guests.
“They traveled all this way to see Idaho Falls, so we want to give them some outdoor space,” said Boland.
Guests have come from all over the United States and even internationally. Boland put up a world map for guests to pin their hometowns to.
“I just love seeing where all my guests have come from,” said Boland.
In Ammon, empty nester Lorana Johnson now keeps a full house thanks to Airbnb.
“Summer, I would say three or four nights a week,” said Boland. “In Winter, maybe three or four times a month.”
Johnson rents out two rooms in her home. The “Idaho Room” and the “Yin-Yang Room.”
She gives guests everything you’d expect from a hotel, like a bathroom with all the essentials, a coffee maker and even WiFi. Johnson also opens up her entire home to guests.
“I offer them food out of the garden if anything’s ripe, so that they can use that for dinner,” said Johnson. “I also have chickens, so I have some farm fresh eggs they can use.”
Johnson has had guests stay from as close as Victor and as far away as Europe. She said people from around the region will stay when they want to be near the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. All in all, Johnson said she’s never had a bad experience.
“I feel like you can live your life like you can trust everyone or no one,” said Johnson. “So, you may as well be positive.”