Local News

Airbnb owners see increase in guests

Staff Report

A yurt in the woods of Hartland has become one of the state’s most popular Airbnb rentals for the ski season.

The yurt, 30 feet in diameter, with 700 square feet of space, is off a long driveway, surrounded by trees with no cell phone service. The yurt is heated by a wood stove and it’s just steps away from the Hartland Winter Trail system, offering cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.

The yurt is just one of many unique sleeping experiences offered on Airbnb.

Ski markets are reaping the benefits of Airbnb, according to a report. The Killington market has seen a 149 percent increase in Airbnb guests over last year, according to a press release.

Airbnb said towns like Rochester, Richmond and Richford could see their biggest weekend for Airbnb ever. During President’s Day weekend, Rochester will see a 34 percent increase in guests over last year while Richmond could see a 31 percent increase and Richford could see a 16 percent increase.

“As ski season kicks into high gear this President’s Day weekend, home sharing is helping to bring critical tourism dollars into communities across Vermont, benefiting residents and small businesses alike,” said Josh Meltzer, head of Northeast policy for Airbnb. “By offering more affordable accommodation options, Airbnb is not only helping more families spend a weekend away on the slopes, but also generating extra income for homeowners throughout the state.”

Vermont’s ski communities are expected to house 123,600 guest arrivals during the 2019 ski season, with local hosts expected to earn a total of approximately $22.3 million in supplemental income.

Around the world, the average host can earn over $3,500 by opening up their home during the 2019 ski season on Airbnb, and cumulatively, hosts in top ski markets are on track to earn over $315 million through April, according to Airbnb.  Approximately 3,000 Vermont hosts will open their doors this ski season.

The top five most popular vacation spots in Vermont this ski season are Rutland, Stowe, Burlington, Ludlow and Dover, according to the report. Top rentals in Vermont include an 1850s farmhouse in Jamaica, a tiny house in Jamaica, a tiny timber frame house in Putney and a cabin in Newport. Stratton has seen a 154 percent and in Stowe a 157 percent increase, according to the report released by Airbnb.

The majority of guests will come from New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

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